California’s Tax-Cutting Legislature?

George Runner
Member of the California State Board of Equalization, District 2

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 […]

Read more

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

George Runner
Member of the California State Board of Equalization, District 2

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, […]

Read more

California Returning Millions to Business Owners

George Runner
Member of the California State Board of Equalization, District 2

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 […]

Read more

California’s Gas Tax Nightmare

George Runner
Member of the California State Board of Equalization, District 2

California taxpayers don’t have to fall sleep to have a nightmare. They experience one each and every day when they encounter a costly, confusing and constantly-changing tax system. Unfortunately, most efforts to change this system only make matters worse. Take the gas tax, for instance. California consumers currently pay 71 cents per gallon in taxes […]

Read more

Responsible Budget Would Eliminate Fire Fee

George Runner
Member of the California State Board of Equalization, District 2

In the middle of California’s driest winter on record and following an active fire season, our state must provide the firefighting services Californians need and expect. That’s why I recently sent a letter to Governor Brown urging him to eliminate the controversial (and probably illegal) Fire Prevention Fee. I also asked him to restore full […]

Read more

Windfall Could Tempt Legislature to Repeat Past Spending Mistakes

George Runner
Member of the California State Board of Equalization, District 2

We’ve all heard dramatic stories of lottery winners acquiring hundreds of millions of dollars only to declare bankruptcy a few years later. In fact, studies show 70% of all individuals who suddenly receive large amounts of money will lose it in a short period of time. The cause of this problem is impulse spending by […]

Read more

Tax Reprieve Brings Holiday Cheer for Thousands of Californians

George Runner
Member of the California State Board of Equalization, District 2

Thousands of struggling Californians who short sold their homes to avoid foreclosure can rest easier this holiday season knowing they won’t be hit with huge income tax bills. The threat was real. A California law protecting homeowners from paying taxes on forgiven debt associated with a short sale expired at the end of 2012, and […]

Read more

Taxpayers Speak Out Against Unjust Fire Tax

George Runner
Member of the California State Board of Equalization, District 2

For the second time in as many years, the State of California is mailing hundreds of thousands of fire tax bills to rural Californians who live in the so-called State Responsibility Area. The bills are hitting mailboxes even as the class action lawsuit I’m backing has finally received a green light to move forward. As […]

Read more

Fewer Elected Officials Could Cost Taxpayers More

George Runner
Member of the California State Board of Equalization, District 2

In a recent piece, Joel Fox reminds us of the 1996 Constitutional Revision Commission, on which he served. He recalls the Commission’s recommendation to eliminate a number of California’s elected offices, including the Superintendent of Public Instruction, Insurance Commissioner, the Treasurer and the State Board of Equalization.  In the Commission’s plan, most of these positions […]

Read more

Gas Tax Hike Based on Guesswork

George Runner
Member of the California State Board of Equalization, District 2

On July 1 Californians will be forced to begin paying the highest gas taxes in the nation. They have a right to be angry and demand explanation from their elected officials. I too am upset and frustrated by this tax increase, which stems from a complicated law known as the ‘fuel tax swap.’ The goal […]

Read more