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Katy Grimes

Jerry Brown’s BIG Green Budget is in The Red

Even with “the most progressive tax system in the United states,” California Gov. Jerry Brown is facing huge deficits, and cannot balance the state budget. The huge $180billion state budget proposal for 2017-18, may be another record budget but for millions of Californians, it’s still record stagnation and less income.

Brown has presented yet another budget fairytale that will have $5.8 Billion in deficits over the next three years – even with the recently passed ballot tax of $10 Billion in new tax revenue. And the budget does little or nothing to pay down more than $240 billion in state debt.

Why? Because personal income tax, corporate, and sales tax projections are down.

“Why are… Read More

Katy Grimes

California Legislative Spending Rampage Continues

If there is any doubt that this Democrat-controlled Legislature is on a spending rampage, take a look at the legislation below currently blowing through the Assembly and Senate.

All Democrat-authored bills

AB 1770 (Asm. Luis Alejo) makes non-citizens who are in the U.S. legally eligible for the California Food Assistance Program. AB 1770 is on suspense.

AB 1809 (Asm. Patty Lopez) eliminates the consideration of an individual’s assets as a condition of eligibility for CalWORKS. AB 1809 is currently being held in a committee.

SB 1010 (Sen. Ed Hernández) requires health plans and insurers to report information about prescription drug pricing to the State. Requires Department of Managed Health Care and Department of Insurance DOI to compile a report regarding the overall impact of drug costs on health care pricing.

AB 492 (Asm Lorena Gonzalez) provides an additional $50 per month to CalWORKS recipients for diapers for children under 2 years old.

SB 1465 (Sen. Pres. Kevin De León) allows the Governor to sign agreements making Los Angeles the host of the 2024 Olympic Games, including an agreement for joint liability.… Read More

BOE Member George Runner

Democrats Block Commonsense Legislation to Refund Illegal Taxes

If you pay an illegal tax, you deserve to get your money back. There’s no good reason the state should keep money that rightfully belongs to taxpayers.

The Democrats in the Assembly Revenue and Taxation Committee disagree, and today they again blocked commonsense legislation to protect taxpayers. AB 867 (Wagner), which I sponsored, would have required the State of California to provide a full refund to all individuals who paid a tax later declared illegal or unconstitutional.

Currently, taxpayers are only eligible to receive refunds if they have exhausted all their administrative appeals remedies, even if the tax they paid is later declared illegal or unconstitutional.

AB 867, which was supported by taxpayer advocacy groups, would have required the state to automatically issue refunds to taxpayers whose information is up to date. It also would have opened up an additional appeals period of one year after a state tax is declared illegal or unconstitutional, giving taxpayers a chance to apply for the refunds they deserve.

Assemblyman… Read More

BOE Member George Runner

The Fire Fee Shell Game: You Lose!

Democrats in the California Legislature seem to be facing the reality that the fire tax they passed with the Governor’s help in 2011 is unfair. Californians who live in rural areas rely on a range of public services from multiple levels of government to combat fires. These residents already pay taxes to fund essential fire services.

The original fire fee was a scheme Governor Brown came up with after diverting about $90 million a year in fire prevention funds to help “balance” the state budget. Residents have gained nothing since this shell game passed. Not a dime of fire fee revenues can be used for actual fire suppression — trucks, planes or hoses. The funds can only be used for “prevention” efforts, which seem to be few and far between.

However, instead of simply repealing this onerous fire prevention fee, Democrats now want to replace a really bad policy with an even worse one.

AB 1203, authored by Assemblyman Reggie Jones-Sawyer is currently awaiting consideration by the Legislature. The bill would repeal the fire fee, but replace it with a 3 to 5 percent insurance surcharge on all commercial and residential property statewide. The money… Read More

BOE Member George Runner

Runner Sponsors Legislation to Refund Illegal Taxes

This year, I am sponsoring legislation to extend common sense protections to taxpayers. Assembly Bill 867, authored by Assemblyman Donald Wagner, would require the state to provide a full refund to all individuals who paid a tax later declared unconstitutional or illegal.

AB 867 is identical to AB 2510 (Wagner) and SB 1327 (Knight), legislation I sponsored in 2014. Legislative committees blocked both bills from advancing last year.

It is criminal that the State of California can keep money it illegally collects from its citizens. Anyone who in good faith pays what ends up being an illegal tax should get their money back. It’s as simple as that.

Currently, taxpayers are only eligible to receive refunds if they have exhausted all their administrative appeals remedies, even if the tax they paid is later declared illegal or… Read More

BOE Member George Runner

Response to Proposed Gas Tax Cut

On Tuesday, February 24 the State Board of Equalization will consider a proposed 7.5 cent per gallon tax cut.

A gas tax cut of this magnitude would be great news for California drivers, who are currently forced to pay one of the highest gas tax rates in the nation.

The proposed cut stems from falling gas prices and the resulting over collection of tax.

Annual rate changes are required under a confusing and complicated formula enacted by the Legislature in 2010 in order to move a billion dollars to the General Fund. Each year the Board of Equalization must adjust the gas tax rate to ensure the state receives neither more nor less revenue than it would have under the prior tax system.

I look forward to considering the proposed cut with my colleagues when the Board meets on Tuesday, February 24. We invite and welcome public feedback and participation.… Read More

BOE Member George Runner

Falling Gas Prices Mask Hidden Tax

So why is it that while other states are now enjoying gas prices of less than $2 per gallon, California is still paying higher prices?

Due to high taxes and costly regulations, our state’s gas prices are higher than other states. It’s been that way for years.

But what’s new is that the gap between California’s and other states’ gas prices has grown.

To get a sense of the change, compare California gas prices with those of the nation as a whole. According to GasBuddy.com, even while overall prices have fallen, the gap has grown from about 32 cents per gallon just a month ago to as much as 47 cents this January.

That’s a 15 cent increase in just one month!

The likely culprit is a new “hidden gas tax” that took effect January 1. The new regulation expands the state’s cap-and-trade program to include transportation fuels. The expansion is the latest in a series of sweeping and costly regulations developed by the California Air Resources Board as it implements the California Global Warming Solutions Act.

Luckily for the Governor and his Air Board appointees, gas prices barely budged when the new rule kicked in; in fact,… Read More

Katy Grimes

Gov. ‘Moonbeam’s Historical Transformation of ‘Crazifornia’

The Golden State of California has been dubbed “Crazifornia” and “La-la land,” and called “the land of fruits and nuts.” Furthermore, California’s governor, Jerry Brown, is known as “Governor Moonbeam,” a moniker from which he’d like to disentangle himself.

The rest of the country believes California has earned and deserves these disparaging names. And unless something changes in this batty state, Governor Moonbeam is on track to meticulously and completely destroy the state’s economy and bankrupt the government.

But hey… who’s going to stop him? The media?

Gov’s Agenda – Not Voters’Read More

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