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Top Five Tax Traps Small Business Owners Need to Avoid

George Runner
Member of the California State Board of Equalization, District 1

As Vice Chair of the California State Board of Equalization (BOE), I regularly hear from small business owners who are caught off guard by tax liabilities. This isn’t surprising given the complexity of California’s tax laws. Even the most well-meaning, knowledgeable business owner can run into problems. Because of this, I regularly host free small […]

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An Excise Tax on Marijuana Could Make Sense

George Runner
Member of the California State Board of Equalization, District 1

California lawmakers are finally considering legislation to regulate medical marijuana, which has been legal under state law for nearly two decades. Among the proposals is a bill calling for an excise tax on marijuana that could raise nearly $60 million in revenue each year. As a fiscal conservative and opponent of recreational marijuana, I’m an […]

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State Moonlights as Slumlord

George Runner
Member of the California State Board of Equalization, District 1

If a recent study to determine the safety of 29 state-owned buildings tells us anything, it’s that the state is a terrible landlord. In fact, it may be time for government to get out of the building- owning business. It shouldn’t take an act of the Legislature to get the state agency in charge of […]

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Attempts to Change Proposition 13 are Misguided

George Runner
Member of the California State Board of Equalization, District 1

There’s been no shortage of attempts in recent years in the State Legislature to overhaul Proposition 13—California’s landmark initiative protecting homeowners and small business owners from out of control property taxes. Multiple bills have taken aim at the proposition, but the most popular among these bills pushes the so-called “split roll” property tax, which would […]

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Time to Regulate Medical Marijuana

George Runner
Member of the California State Board of Equalization, District 1

As a lifelong conservative, I’m no fan of government regulation. Even so, I’m convinced it’s time for California to aggressively regulate the medical marijuana industry. I’ve spoken with concerned citizens, local government officials, rural law enforcement officers, federal officials, anti-drug crusaders and medical marijuana industry insiders. I even visited the Emerald Triangle with fellow Board […]

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Tax Hikes Look Silly as State Gets Financial Windfall

George Runner
Member of the California State Board of Equalization, District 1

It must be silly season in Sacramento. As the state receives billions in unanticipated revenues, liberal tax-and-spend lawmakers are proposing massive tax hikes, proving once again that they are out of touch with reality. One key measure of reality ignored by liberal lawmakers is Tax Freedom Day. Calculated annually by the Tax Foundation, Tax Freedom […]

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Time to Abolish California’s Income Tax?

George Runner
Member of the California State Board of Equalization, District 1

The last thing overtaxed Californians need is another tax. Yet the Legislature continues to churn out new taxes that, once enacted, rarely go away. Our economy has been transitioning to a greater reliance on services. As a result, some tax reform groups have argued for expanding the sales tax to include services. On its own, […]

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California Tax Freedom Day Comes Late Again

George Runner
Member of the California State Board of Equalization, District 1

California lags behind much of the country when it comes to high taxes and creating an atmosphere that allows businesses to create jobs. Another area where California fails to meet the national standard—National Tax Freedom Day. This year, California residents will work nine days longer than the national average to meet their annual tax obligation. […]

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The Shell Game: You Lose!

George Runner
Member of the California State Board of Equalization, District 1

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 […]

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Eliminate the State Income Tax

George Runner
Member of the California State Board of Equalization, District 1

During a discussion at the 2015 Cal Tax Annual Members meeting, I called for a meaningful public discourse on tax reform ideas that makes life easier for taxpayers. I suggested replacing California’s income tax with a sales tax on services. If you want real tax reform, we ought to look at eliminating the state’s personal […]

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