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BOE Member George Runner

Governor Embraces my Idea, but Passes on Making it Law

A few weeks ago, I announced SB 582 (Knight) had reached the Governor’s desk. While Governor Brown vetoed the bill yesterday, he pledged to move the idea forward anyway.

SB 582 would have required the Board of Equalization, Franchise Tax Board and Employment Development Department to examine how to consolidate their websites, alleviating one of the challenges most business owners face: paying taxes to three separate state tax agencies.

Our legislation was designed to make life easier for taxpayers by creating a one-stop shop for people to visit for all of their tax services.

In his veto message Governor Brown expressed support for the bill’s concept, stating the problem needed to be addressed immediately, rather than studied. He instructed his office to examine “if taxpayer service can be improved in a cost effective manner with a single state Webpage for all state taxes” and then move forward with implementation measures. A complete copy of the… Read More

Congressman John Campbell

Government Shutdown Day 10

Government Shutdown Day 10: I hope you enjoy getting these daily laptops…because I think they’re going to be coming to you for a while.

This whole dispute has reached a new phase. First of all, we are now past just dealing with “Shutdown/ObamaCare” and are into “Debt Limit/Entitlement Reform” territory, as well. One is unlikely to be resolved on a long-term basis without also dealing with the other. Secondly, the rhetoric has stalled. The Democrats have been repeating the same messages for days now, as have Republicans. Thirdly, Washington is settling in to this debate, and both the House and the Senate are beginning to talk about doing a few things that are not directly related to the Shutdown/Debt Limit, such as the Farm Bill. .

But, political bodies do not stay stationary for long. So, there are a number of factors that may start to move things a little here. First of all, of course, is the looming Debt Limit. As you know, I don’t think that the well-publicized October 17th date (that the federal government is “supposed” to run out cash) has much meaning. But, by November 1st, the Treasury will likely be very close to… Read More

BOE Member George Runner

Retroactive Tax Fix Rights a Wrong

It’s no secret I’ve been highly critical of the Franchise Tax Board’s decision to assess five years and more than a hundred million dollars in retroactive taxes against California small businesses and start-up investors.

Thankfully this wrong was finally righted today with the Governor’s signature of Assembly Bill 1412.

AB 1412 is the product of rare bipartisan legislative cooperation. It will ensure that taxpayers who followed the law in good faith will not be taxed retroactively for doing so.

I commend all involved for their hard work in bringing about a fair and reasonable outcome for California taxpayers.

If you’d like to learn more about this issue, my letters urging action are available online: 2/5/13, 4/26/13,Read More

Congressman John Campbell

Government Shutdown: Day 4

Government Shutdown Day 4: This morning, with no let-up in sight on the part of the House, Senate or President Obama, here are some new factoids about the matters at hand…with only a little commentary added (-:

The House has now passed and sent 9 bills to the Senate that would either completely or partially re-open the government. Harry Reid has refused to let the Senate vote on a single one of them. Harry Reid has sent the House one single proposal in all that time. 57 House Democrats have joined every House Republican in voting for all or some of those 9 bills. That’s over one-quarter of all the House Democrats that have supported all or at least one of the Republican proposed solutions. Similar support from Senate Democrats would guarantee passage in the Senate. But, votes have not been allowed in the Senate on these bills. Speaking of Democratic support for Republican solutions, click HERE to view a chart that tracks party defections vote-by-vote on each funding bill before the … Read More

Congressman John Campbell

Government Shutdown – Day 2

Government Shutdown – Day 2: Last night, we voted on three bills on the floor of the House. Each allowed one aspect of the shut down government to reopen until December 15th. The first one allowed the processing of veterans’ health claims. The money for these claims is entitlement spending and is not affected by the shutdown. But, the processing and paying of these claims stopped because of the shutdown and this bill fixed that. The second bill allowed locally derived revenues in the city of Washington, DC (revenue from things like parking meters and local taxes), which have nothing to do with the federal government, to be distributed to the city so it can continue normal operations with normal revenue. By the way, this is a quirk in the law specific only to the “federal city”. Thirdly, it would fund the U.S. Park Service in order to reopen the national parks.

All 3 of these bills were brought up under an expedited process in the House called “suspension of the rules”. This process enables quick action, but it requires a 2/3rds vote of the House to pass a bill. That means it is within the power of the minority party to… Read More

BOE Member George Runner

Making Life Simpler for Taxpayers

I am pleased to announce Senate Bill 582, a joint effort between my office and Senator Steve Knight, has passed both houses of the Legislature and reached the Governor’s desk.

SB 582 will make life simpler for taxpayers by requiring the Board of Equalization, Franchise Tax Board and Employment Development Department to consider integrating their websites to better serve taxpayers. The idea is to create a one-stop shop for taxpayers to visit for all of their tax services. This will streamline filing requirements by providing taxpayers with up-to-date integrated access to accounts with all three tax agencies.

In a 2005 report the non-partisan Legislative Analyst’s Office urged the creation of a portal that would allow a taxpayer to “log onto a single website and through a series of menus, be directed to the proper form which would allow them to file their taxes or remit a payment.” As you can see, this reform is long overdue.

It’s not easy doing business in California. One of many challenges for a business owner is the confusing… Read More

Katy Grimes

Sacto arena deal violates public policy and public trust

The dubious arena deal in Sacramento has strange bedfellows aligning. The lack of public debate, the fishy numbers put out by the city, and the deceit about the growing public subsidy has angered many voters. Now legislation by Sen. President Pro Tem Darrell Steinberg, D-Sacramento would let the stadium developers avoid a real environmental impact review in order to forge ahead without public debate.

But it gets even uglier. I have written extensively about this bad “public-private deal” — a bureaucratic expression which should always generate skepticism.

The Steinberg bill, which will be formally introduced today, would allow the city to bypass addressing real traffic impacts in its Environmental Impact Report on the arena project. According to several analysts I’ve spoken with, the bill… Read More

Tab Berg

Arena Subsidy: Take the online survey

Although professional polling has clearly shown voters want to vote – especially when politicians want to spend hundreds of millions of dollars on subsidies and economic stimulus.

CLICK HERE to complete the short survey and share your view!

http://www.surveymonkey.com/s/62VY526… Read More

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