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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Shouldn’t California Have the Best Roads By Now?

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

If high taxes guaranteed results, then California should have some of the best roads in the nation. For years we’ve had one of the highest gas taxes, yet our freeways consistently receive failing grades. It makes no sense unless you admit that high taxes don’t guarantee good roads. That’s one of many reasons I had […]

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Government Has More Than Enough of Your Dollars

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

After years of debt, deficits and budget cuts, it may come as a surprise to learn that our state government is flush with cash. But you wouldn’t know it by the talk of tax increases coming out of Sacramento. First the facts: 1. California is outspending other states – As the Sacramento Bee’sDan Walters recently reported, census […]

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Falling Gas Prices Mask Hidden Tax

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

So why is it that while other states are now enjoying gas prices of less than $2 per gallon, California is still paying higher prices? Due to high taxes and costly regulations, our state’s gas prices are higher than other states. It’s been that way for years. But what’s new is that the gap between […]

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Lumber Tax Cut Good for Small Business

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

Assembly Bill 2031, authored by Assemblyman Brian Dahle (R-Bieber), passed the Legislature with bipartisan support and was signed by Governor Brown. Two year ago, the Legislature imposed a heavy burden on businesses when it created a complicated new tax on lumber products. By eliminating this tax for California’s smallest retailers, the Legislature is finally admitting […]

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DMV Needs to Stop Robbing Taxpayers

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

If you recently purchased a car from a private party, you may have paid too much tax to the California Department of Motor Vehicles. I’ve been hearing complaints from constituents that DMV charged them a higher city tax rate when they don’t actually live within city boundaries. These constituents were forced to jump through hoops […]

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California’s Tax-Cutting Legislature?

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

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 […]

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If the Government Takes Your Money Illegally, Shouldn’t You Get it Back?

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

Did you know, if the State of California takes your money in the form of an illegal tax or fee, you might not be able to get it back? I was outraged when I first learned if a taxpayer pays a tax or fee that is later found to be unconstitutional or illegal in court, […]

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California Returning Millions to Business Owners

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

This spring thousands of business owners throughout California are receiving a welcome surprise in their mailbox. Rather than a notice of a new tax, fee or audit, they’re getting a check from the State Board of Equalization. No, we’re not talking about annual income tax refunds from the Franchise Tax Board. These checks are marked […]

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