The fight over tax increases did not end with the passage of Propositions 30 and 39 in the November election. Especially with the Democratic majority securing a two-thirds vote in both legislative houses, the threat of more tax increases is apparent and the business community is organizing to oppose potential taxes.
Already, an oil severance tax has been proposed along with measures to make it easier to raise local parcel taxes. There have been discussions to raise property taxes on commercial property. While one effort to raise the car tax was withdrawn, the idea still lingers.
Californians Against Higher Taxes is continuing its effort to oppose new taxes. Made up of 200 organizations and companies, including the California Chamber of Commerce, the California Business Roundtable, California Restaurant Association, Neighborhood Market Association (and my Small Business Action Committee) among many others, the group hopes to defend the state’s economy against a higher and higher pile of taxation.
In addition to the $6-plus billion state tax increases and the 70 local tax increases from last November’s election, additional taxes were raised by the Federal government with the fiscal cliff agreement. In addition, the state Board of Equalization just authorized a 3.5-cent per gallon increase in the state gasoline excise tax.
A tax haven, California is not. The state has come a long way from its gold-rush roots when the military authority in charge of the territory, Colonel Richard Mason, wrote to Washington on how the government could benefit from the work of the miners: “I resolved not to interfere, but permit all to work freely.
Current policies in California have hurt the economy and, according to Allysia Finley’s article in yesterday’s Wall Street Journal, led to many low and middle income people leaving the state looking for jobs elsewhere.
In the shadow of governors from other states coming to raid California businesses, the business community wants to send a message that enough is enough. The state must improve its business climate and spark job creation, not drown it with more taxes.
Californians Against Higher Taxes will get its message out through media advertising, direct mail and letters to lawmakers.
The organization also boasts more than 5,000 individual supporters. Any individual, group, or business interested in joining the effort to prevent California from sinking under the weight of more taxation can join the coalition here.