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Katy Grimes

Election 2014: ‘Hope’ Finally Makes A Comeback For Reps, Strong Mayor Loses

Wow, what an election night. Hope makes a comeback… but not entirely in California.

As exciting as the nationwide races were, my favorite race was local: Mayor Kevin Johnson’s Strong Mayor initiative, Measure L, went down in defeat, 57-43 percent. Slam Dunk.

Despite the Sacramento media running months of constant free advertising for the measure, Measure L, which would have concentrated power in the Mayor, Chicago-style, and dramatically reduce the other council members’ powers, Sacramento voters voted “no.”

By midnight when I finally gave up and went to bed, the measure appeared to be defeated 57.31 percent to 42.69 percent. Unless more ballots magically appear, the fourth Strong Mayor initiative should be cooked… until Mayor Johnson resurrects it again for a fifth time.

GOP Takes US Senate

But wait! There is… Read More

BOE Member George Runner

Californians Pay More than $1.9 Billion in Parcel Taxes

For more than 35 years property owners in California have been subject to parcel taxes – special taxes imposed by local governments that go above and beyond traditional property tax based on the property’s value.

The rates, definitions and structures of parcel taxes can vary dramatically from area to area, creating a system with no consistency and little transparency.

To help shed light on this issue, the California Tax Foundation, the research and education arm of the California Taxpayers Association, recently conducted the first comprehensive study of California parcel taxes. The report, “Piecing Together California’s Parcel Taxes,” found that property owners in California pay more than $1.9 billion in parcel taxes each year.

Robert Gutierrez, director of the California Tax Foundation explained, “We surveyed every local government in the state, and filed hundreds of Public Records Act requests, to collect more than 11,500 files relating to parcel taxes. This first-of-its-kind study sheds light on a complicated, expensive tax that many property owners know very… Read More

Katy Grimes

Politicians Lie About Their Love For the Middle Class

Destroy the middle class in America, and Socialism takes over – economic growth is killed, people turn on each other, free speech is attacked, the government grows and becomes more tyrannical, and individuals are not treated equally under the law.And, subsidies grow as it becomes more “profitable” not to work, and trade effort for leisure.

Are we there?

Corporations and special interest groups fund politicians in return for favorable treatment by government, which leads to regulations on the rest of small businesses and working society.

The Obama administration has imposed at… Read More

Congressman John Campbell

Does Income Inequality Exist?

Last year, President Obama started raising the issue of “income inequality” as a new problem in America. He then proposed to fix this problem using the same “solutions” that he and other Democrats have been pushing for 40 years: Raise the minimum wage and increase unemployment insurance payments. He also used it to further advocate for wealth redistribution via the tax code.

Republicans generally responded that the issue was made up or trumped up by Obama and that this problem either doesn’t exist or is not as big a deal as he suggests. A few Republicans acknowledged the issue and proposed we fix it with tax cuts, which of course was the remedy said Republicans have been pushing for 40 years.

In my opinion, both sides are wrong. Obama is clearly using “income inequality” as a new reason to advocate for the same things he wanted long before “income inequality” ever entered the vernacular. In the same way, Republicans using it to advocate for our standard policy choices is equally inappropriate. So, what do I think we should or should not be doing… Read More

BOE Member George Runner

California’s Tax-Cutting Legislature?

As seen in the Los Angeles Register and Orange County Register

Drop by the California State Capitol at just the right moment and you might be surprised to hear liberal legislators sounding like tax-cutting conservatives.

In support of a multi-million dollar tax cut for business, one liberal lawmaker argues, “We need to send a message to New York… and other states competing for our jobs and say, ‘It stops here.’”

Adds another: “We can’t afford to let any more jobs abandon our state.”

One more chimes in: “Right now we’re getting our lunch handed to us by these other states.”

You’d be right to scratch your head. For years lawmakers have voted for tax hikes and burdensome regulations that drive jobs away from our state. As a consequence, Californians pay some of the highest tax rates in the nation.

Given this grim reality, any sign that tax-and-spend lawmakers might see the error of their ways is cause for hope, if not outright celebration.

A few recent developments are encouraging:

In May, Governor Brown signed legislation to help boost California’s economy … Read More

BOE Member George Runner

Upcoming Telephone Townhall for Manufacturing Industry

On Tuesday, July 1 at 10:00 a.m. I will be hosting a telephone townhall for California’s manufacturers. The free event, co-hosted by the California Manufacturers and Technology Association, will provide information on tax issues specific to the manufacturing industry, including the new manufacturing sales tax exemption that takes effect July 1, 2014.

The manufacturing sector employs more than one million Californians and adds more than $200 billion to our economy every year. My goal is to help manufacturers understand California’s complicated tax laws and ensure they are aware of the valuable new tax incentive available to them.

Those wishing to participate may register online at www.boe.ca.gov/townhall or by calling 916-445-3032.

Individuals who pre-register will receive a telephone call at the start of the event inviting them to connect to the townhall. During the event, callers will have an opportunity to ask questions.… Read More

Katy Grimes

Cap and Trade Hearing Has Lawmakers Lining Up With Spending Plans

With billions of dollars expected to be generated by the California Air Resource Board’s cap and trade auctions, many in the Legislature are excited with ideas of how to spend the money.

But rather than scheming on foolhardy, unsustainable spending plans, if the real goal is to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, experts involved in the process say the Legislature should give the money back to the businesses it taxed, with the proviso the money is spent helping the companies lower their emissions.

What is AB 32 and Cap and Trade?

Last week, the Senate held a very long… Read More

Katy Grimes

Minimum wage will sideswipe California’s ‘job creation engine’

“California is definitely back,” Governor Jerry Brown recently trumpeted. Brown then proclaimed the state a “job creation engine.” But the magical California job creation engine has shifted from a healthy manufacturing economy, to a service economy – from high-paying jobs with benefits and growth potential, to low-wage, nowhere minimum wage jobs.

Rather than creating policies to make California a healthy business state once again to incentivize businesses, politicians are instead focused on these low-paying jobs, and treating the symptoms instead of curing the disease.

The winter of our discontent

The growing discontent between politics, politicians, and the hard-working electorate could turn into anguish, misery and rebellion with the latest minimum wage increase proposal.

Before the last minimum wage… Read More

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