Minimum Wage Hike Won’t Solve Poverty

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

Blink and you’ll miss it. Special interests have struck a backroom deal to raise California’s minimum wage to $15 per hour in just six years. The deal was rushed through the Democrat-controlled Legislature—with little public input—and signed into law by the governor in less than a week. It’s almost as if no one wanted to […]

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“I Take Public Transit … But I Hate It”

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

“I take public transit, but I hate it,” says a student intern who works in my downtown Sacramento office. In a perfect world, there would be nothing wrong with investing in public transportation. We’re told by government that infrastructure projects like high speed rail will make travel cheaper, more accessible and better for the environment. […]

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The Real Revenue Challenge Facing California

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

California Forward, a political reform group, recently invited Californians to take a “Revenue Challenge.” The challenge consists of an online survey where participants can rate how more than a dozen legislative proposals—mostly aimed at raising taxes—meet a set of criteria for a sustainable tax system. The goal is to gather feedback on existing proposals, identify […]

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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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