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FlashReport Weblog on California Politics

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Katy Grimes

Voter’s Take Heed: Gov. Newsom Poised to Make Us All Part Of San Francisco

“Welcome to El Sanfransisco!”

IfGavin Newsom was elected Governor, Californians may end up saying“Welcome to El Sanfransisco!”

San Francisco used to be the gem of the once-Golden State. Today visitors and residents see on the streets squalor, trash, human poop and urine, used heroin needles, rats, and homeless people. The city is even experiencing Hepatitis outbreaks.

Unless California wants this to become the “new normal” for the entire state, a vote for Gavin Newsom for California Governor is a vote forNight of the Living Dead because that’s what is taking over California cities.

Gavin Newsom was San Francisco Mayor 2004 – 2011, during which time he was widely criticized for poor management of his department managers, as well as a massive city budget for only 800,000 people. “In San Francisco, running a city department like a Franz Kafka nightmare… Read More

Katy Grimes

John Cox Takes On California’s ‘Out-of-Touch Elites’

California Gubernatorial candidate John Cox has a message for California voters: “Help is on the way.”

If you ask Cox what he’s talking about, you’ll get a very clear answer: “Once the land of promise and opportunity, California today is on the brink of financial insolvency, thanks to the failed policies of the Jerry Brown Liberal Politicians.”

“All around the world people are rising up against corruption in government. … I’m going to clean out the barn in Sacramento,”Cox told Fox News the morning after… Read More

BOE Member George Runner

Governor’s Budget Takes Cautious Approach

I’m pleased that the Governor continues to take a cautious approach to the budget. While California’s economy improves, it makes sense to strengthen our rainy day fund.

During this time of additional revenue, the Governor should be commended for keeping his promise to voters to end temporary tax increases on schedule.

However, I’m concerned that the boost in revenue will cause many lawmakers to clamor for more spending. The last thing we need to do is mirror past mistakes that led to prior budget crises.

Now, more than ever, lawmakers should focus on improving quality of life for Californians by prioritizing jobs, roads and education without raising taxes.… Read More

BOE Member George Runner

Response to Governor’s Budget

Today the Governor released a budget that reflects his priorities. I’m encouraged by his continued commitment to pay down debt and phase out Proposition 30’s temporary tax increases.

But at its core, the Governor’s budget grows state government spending to record levels. I’m concerned that tax-and-spend legislators will push for even more spending, taxes and regulations that will rob Californians of freedom and jobs.

Republicans must resist the siren song to grow big government even bigger. Instead, we must offer compelling free-market alternatives that prioritize jobs, education and public safety.… Read More

BOE Member George Runner

Serving My Constituents: A Duty and an Honor

According to a recent AP news article (“Calif. tax collector criticized for opposing fee”), several Democratic leaders, including a few of my colleagues, want me to stop my “high profile campaign” against the new “Fire Prevention Fee.” They argue that my role is to simply to collect taxes—not to speak out against them.

They’re right about one thing. I do have a responsibility to administer taxes. I’m doing everything in my power to ensure that this tax, and others, are administered effectively, efficiently and fairly. I’m also encouraging taxpayers to pay their taxes, so they don’t get caught up with penalties and interest.

There’s a reason California has elected tax officials, rather than bureaucrats, in charge of tax administration and appeals. We are elected to represent the taxpayers in our districts. Doing so involves speaking on their behalf.

Accordingly, I respect the right of my Democratic colleagues to speak on behalf of their constituents—even when they disagree with me.

The new “fire fee” is an… Read More

BOE Member George Runner

First Fire Tax Bills Mail August 13

It’s not fair; it’s not constitutional, but thanks to Governor Jerry Brown and the Legislature, fire tax bills are coming all the same.

The State of California will begin mailing the first of more than 825,000 “Fire Prevention Fee” bills on Monday, August 13.

The tax, approved as a fee by a simple majority vote of the Legislature last year, charges residential property owners in rural areas $150 for each habitable structure located on their land. Property owners who pay for local fire protection will receive a $35 reduction.

To help inform California taxpayers, I’ve established a website, calfirefee.com, providing information about the new fire tax. Californians can visit this site to find out if they might soon receive a fire tax bill. You can also find details regarding the process, timeline and grounds for filing an appeal.

The bills will go out in alphabetical order by county between August and early December. The state has released the following partial mailing schedule:

ALAMEDA August 13th through… Read More

BOE Member George Runner

Budget Will Be Decided by Voters

The Governor must act on the budget by midnight today. If he had the courage, he would send it back and demand the Legislature send him a fully vetted plan that is truly balanced, contains real reform and spurs job creation in our state.

The truth is that California won’t have a real budget until November. That’s when voters will decide whether to embrace or reject the billions in higher taxes the budget assumes.

Should taxes fail, the budget calls for billions in ‘trigger cuts’ to education funding. I suspect these ‘trigger cuts’ are little more than a head fake aimed at scaring overtaxed Californians into taxing themselves even more.… Read More

BOE Member George Runner

Sales Tax Hike Would Cost 23,000 Jobs

Today I released a dynamic analysis by the Board of Equalization showing that the Governor’s proposed sales tax increase will cost California jobs.

According to the analysis, a higher sales tax rate will take money out of the pockets of working Californians, destroying more than 23,000 jobs and $267 million in business investment.

These projected job losses are equivalent to every worker in a medium-sized California city like Glendora or West Sacramento losing their jobs.

When considering tax increases, policymakers often rely on static analyses that ignore behavioral changes by consumers and business owners. A dynamic analysis estimates the likely behavioral changes that could result from a higher tax rate.

The BOE analysis projects that nearly all of the proposed sales tax increase would be passed along to consumers. The state would receive $222 million less in revenues than projected by a static analysis, an 8% loss in potential revenue.

Since July of last year, lower tax rates have enabled Californians to keep more of their hard-earned dollars, and our economy is… Read More

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