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BOE Member George Runner

A Temporary Tax That Never Went Away

California taxpayers are celebrating a rare victory. Despite Democrat efforts to extend them, the sweeping “temporary” tax increases of 2009 have gone away. This is an uncommon treat, as many prior tax hikes sold as “temporary” are still with us today.

As Californians enjoy the benefits of this victory, today marks the 20th anniversary of a prior sales tax increase that is still with us. On July 15, 1991 Californians were impaled with a “temporary” sales tax increase of 1.25%. This measure was enacted by the Legislature to address the state budget shortfall during the early 1990s economic downturn.

Fast forward to June of this year. A 2009 sales tax rate increase of 1% was set to expire on July 1, 2011. Despite a vote of the people against extending this and other temporary tax increases, Governor Jerry Brown and Democrat legislators unsuccessfully sought a five year extension of these taxes.

These higher taxes amounted to billions of dollars per year out of the pockets of struggling Californians and into the hands of wasteful government. Combine the 2009 temporary sales tax increase with the 1991 temporary sales tax increase, and… Read More

BOE Member George Runner

Let the People Decide Amazon Tax

Democrat lawmakers are protesting a proposed referendum on California’s new “Amazon Tax” law. But keep in mind that this issue isn’t about Amazon. It’s about the thousands of California jobs the “Amazon Tax” places in jeopardy.

The lawmakers who authored the ‘Amazon Tax’ should be ashamed to appear in public. Their law has failed to achieve their goals. Instead it is punishing thousands of California small business affiliates who are losing income and may even be forced to leave the state.

The Legislature should admit its mistake and repeal the Amazon Tax. But short of that, the fastest way to save California jobs is through a referendum rather than years of costly litigation. Let the people engage in the debate and decide the issue for themselves.… Read More

Mike Spence

No Tacos-No Peace: How Republicans Can Be Very Relevant in Sacramento.

Over the last couple weeks the usual tax and spend pundits questioned if Republicans were relevant in the recent budget debate. As usual they had the answer wrong. Not only were they relevant, they helped stimulate the economy.

Last week, my wife informed me that for a week in July, our family will be camping for a week a few miles from our home with other members of our church. We would sleep and eat at the camp site and people (like me) that needed to go to work could. Apparently pretending to be homeless for six days and five glorious nights in the summer heat near perfectly good showers, beds and air conditioning will bond us together spiritually. I am sure it will for the survivors. That said, I had orders to go get a new tent and an additional sleeping bag.

Knowing that Republicans had stood strong against Democrats trying to get a “bridge” tax increase extension, I waited until July 1. I bought the tent and sleeping bag and saved a total of $1.24 on the 1% reduction in sales tax that occurred at midnight June 30. In addition I bought the gear near work and not in Los Angeles County which saved me another $1.24 in sales tax. Los Angeles County is 1%… Read More

BOE Member George Runner

Democrat Budget A Sham to Keep Legislators’ Paychecks Flowing

Make no mistake, the Democrats’ budget isn’t about solving California’s fiscal problems—it’s only goal is to ensure lawmakers keep their paychecks flowing.

When voters last fall granted Democrats their wish of majority-vote budgets, they demanded lawmakers forfeit their pay if those budgets are not approved on-time. But it was never the voters’ intention for lawmakers to approve a sham budget simply to keep their paychecks coming.

What’s worse is that to protect their own pay, Democrats are poised to sacrifice the paychecks of thousands of California small businesses known as affiliates. Up to 25,000 of these Internet entrepreneurs will lose their affiliate status if Democrats approve a so-called ‘Amazon tax.’ According to the Board of Equalization’s analysis, ‘termination of affiliate programs would have an adverse impact on state employment’ and ‘lead to lower revenues.’

The dumbest idea of all is the Democrats’ plan to sell state buildings for one-time revenue. If lawmakers want real one-time dollars, they should consider my proposals to raise billions in revenue by (1) granting an interest and penalty holiday to spur… Read More

Jon Fleischman

Bill Leonard: The Budget Offensive Gets Offensive

Over the next couple of days we’ll have worked out the kinks in the reformatted FR blog. Normally this post would come from Bill Leonard himself, but in this instance I am posting up from my account. Enjoy! – Flash

THE BUDGET OFFENSIVE GET OFFENSIVE The Honorable Bill Leonard Well, charm did not work. Governor Brown has been romancing Republicans for 3 months now with his do it my way and ignore the consequences message and lo and behold it has not worked. Now its no more Mr. Nice Guy. This week Brown has resorted to name calling and veiled threats. He has moved beyond the slogan of let the voters decide to the honest admission that he needs tax increases and he needs them now.

The truth is that from last Fall onwards tax increases have been the basis for his budget plan. The details of putting them on the ballot and getting the voters to approve them all were casually assumed by Jerry Brown despite obstacles that should be daunting. I love the new twist. The Governor has re-interpreted his political promise of voter approval to suggest that… Read More

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