Extending Prop 30 by Camouflage

Joel Fox
Editor and Co-Publisher of Fox and Hounds Daily

What if the attempt to extend Prop 30 was disguised as a slightly different measure – would that take the onus off of the promise that a “temporary” tax is continuing? That’s one discussion going on in Sacramento.

Prop 30 was sold to the voters as a temporary tax in 2012. It starts disappearing next year when the sales tax portion of the tax ends. The income tax piece runs for a couple of more years. There are powerful interests who want the tax revenue generated by the measure to continue.

Previously I asked, “If the Prop 30 tax were extended a specific length of time, in the governor’s mind would it still be considered a “temporary” tax with a new end date …?”

Here’s another possibility to keep the temporary tax, or something like it, in place. Tax extension supporters are wondering what the reception would be if the tax is tweaked. Say, eliminate the sales tax piece and just keep the tax on the top end taxpayers. That’s a new tax, isn’t it, some suggest, not the one that was promised to be temporary? Or raise the upper end tax rate a percent or two. That’s a new tax, too, right? But, the argument goes, it looks and feels like the Prop 30 tax and voters may be comfortable supporting such a tax they are familiar with.

If they can sell that idea, proponents might argue that the tax measure on the ballot is kinda on the books already but it’s not the same tax that was supposed to be “temporary.”

Would the voters be fooled by such political rhetoric? Will the governor who does not brook fools lightly go along with such an argument? Seems unlikely.

Those who would support such an effort would probably have us believe we are not looking at a jackrabbit but we see a jackalope–a mythical figure that belongs in the same league as a another seemingly mythical figure– a temporary tax.

jackrabbit-6Jack rabbit

JACKALOPEJackalope

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