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Katy Grimes

A tax in sheep’s clothing

cross posted at CalWatchdog

A standard of the Republican Party platform is “no new taxes and less regulation.” But last week, at the very end of the two-year legislative session, the Legislature was faced with a bill containing a $2.3 billion car tax increase–and it had Republican votes.

Senate Bill 1455 by Sen. Christine Kehoe, D-San Diego, would extend the extra fees on vehicle registrations, boat registrations, smog surcharges, and tire sales until 2023, in order to fund environmental state programs for production, distribution, and sale of alternative fuels, green vehicle technologies, and carbon emissions reduction plans.

Billed as an environmentally-friendly bill, SB 1455 was gutted-and-amended, the tax increase surprisingly materialized only last week, and the bill received only one policy hearing. The Howard Jarvis Taxpayers Association warned, “the regulatory relief can be altered in the future by a majority vote, while this tax extension against vehicle owners will last another… Read More

Katy Grimes

Ding, dong, tax bill is dead!

The California Senate killed Assembly Speaker John Pérez’s AB 1500, which would have taxed out-of-state businesses. Ding dong, one more tax measure is dead… for now.

Perez worked like a mad man on Friday to try and nab enough Republican support for his “middle class scholarship” bill. But it wasn’t about the scholarship–it was just one more attempt to tax businesses for another type of California welfare program.

When Perez saw that he didn’t have the votes at the eleventh hour, he gave in.

Single Sales Factor

AB 1500 was a $1 billion tax increase on out-of-state businesses that create jobs, pay taxes on their property, sales and payroll receipts, and have thousands of employees in California.

As California Employers Against Higher Taxes correctly pointed out, “Proposition 24 sought to make this change in 2010, and California voters overwhelmingly rejected it by two million votes.”

Perez said that a tax loophole is costing California $1 billion per year. But it was not really a loophole: Until the 2011 tax year, corporations had been calculating income taxes using property, payroll and sales for more… Read More

Katy Grimes

Air Resources Board dodges accountability – again

The California Air Resources Board seems to be on everyone’s list of what not to do in state government. Charged with implementing AB 32, the California’s Global Warming Solutions Act of 2006, CARB is under increasing scrutiny for operating as a rogue agency, appearing to be accountable to no one.

All attempts to reel in the agency have failed, including another attempt to audit its operations and finances–thanks to Democratic legislators who clearly are getting marching orders from Assembly and Senate leaders.

A Joint Legislative Audit Committee hearing on Wednesday brought CARB close to accountability with the threat of the six-month state audit. But the committee chairman, Assemblyman Ricardo Lara, D-Bell Gardens, surprised everyone when he nixed the plan after having made the pretense that he was on board.

CARB and AB 32

In 2006, the Legislature promised that AB 32 would help clean the environment while still protecting the economy. Supportive legislators promised that utility and gasoline costs would not increase with the implementation of the climate change law.

The opposite has happened, and businesses are now… Read More

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