Profligate Waste Negates Justification for Transportation Tax Hike

Jon Coupal
President of the Howard Jarvis Taxpayers Association

A personal digression: My father was head of the Iowa Department of Transportation (then called the Iowa Highway Commission) in the late ’60s and early ’70s before he was appointed by President Ford to serve as Deputy Federal Highway Administrator. (Of course, he lost that job when Jimmy Carter became president, but he continued to […]

Read more

Will Average Californians Get Help from Sacramento?

Jon Coupal
President of the Howard Jarvis Taxpayers Association

So much of what comes out of the Capitol hurts average Californians. Efforts to impose new taxes, onerous regulations or laws that dictate lifestyle choices like how much soda one drinks, have citizens ducking for cover. But every now and then, bills are introduced that cut against the stereotype by providing genuine benefit to average […]

Read more

Billions in New Bonds Should Not Escape Voter Approval

Jon Coupal
President of the Howard Jarvis Taxpayers Association

Former Speaker Willie Brown once said, “In the world of civic projects, the first budget is really just a down payment.” The strategy, he noted, was to start construction of a project quickly so it would be hard to stop once people learned of the real cost which, in many cases, could be many multiples […]

Read more

Put Price Tags on Ballot Measures

Jon Coupal
President of the Howard Jarvis Taxpayers Association

Would you commit to buy a car, a house or even a jacket without knowing the price? Unless you are a member of the one percent, chances are, you want to know what it will cost you before you make a purchase. But what about ballot measures that can cost every citizen hundreds or even […]

Read more

Attorney General Reins In Shady Bond Practices

Jon Coupal
President of the Howard Jarvis Taxpayers Association

It’s not often that taxpayers get good news, especially in tax-happy California. Even more surprising is when the good news is an official opinion from the state’s Attorney General, someone not normally associated with friendly treatment to taxpayers. Last November, this column noted that local governments, especially school districts, were prone to engage in questionable […]

Read more

Don’t Blame Proposition 13 for the Housing Crisis

Jon Coupal
President of the Howard Jarvis Taxpayers Association

Notwithstanding California’s leftward drift, Prop 13 remains remarkably popular. Indeed, polling suggests that if Prop 13 were on the ballot today, it would pass by about the same two-thirds margin that it did in 1978. But the enduring embrace of this landmark measure by California homeowners is a huge irritant to those who want ever more […]

Read more

New Taxes Are Not Necessary

Jon Coupal
President of the Howard Jarvis Taxpayers Association

There is an old expression, “carrying coals to Newcastle,” to describe a useless activity or fool’s errand. Sort of like shipping pineapples to Hawaii or, bringing it closer to home, sending more tax dollars to Sacramento. The truth is, Sacramento is awash in cash. The Legislature’s budget analyst estimates that this fiscal year will end […]

Read more

What Are Taxpayers Thankful for in 2015?

Jon Coupal
President of the Howard Jarvis Taxpayers Association

With the recent terror attacks against France, America’s oldest ally, most Americans are rightfully concerned for the welfare of our friends abroad as well as our own safety. With the French, we share a common heritage of a dedication to liberty. The Statue of Liberty that stands proudly in the harbor of New York is […]

Read more

​Tax Raisers Like Non-Voters​

Jon Coupal
President of the Howard Jarvis Taxpayers Association

Did you know that there was an election last Tuesday? Not many voters did, and the tax-and-spend crowd likes it that way. In this little publicized election, 29 out of 40 local tax increase measures passed. Michael Coleman, Founder of the California Local Government Finance Almanac, notes the significance:  “There were more local revenue measures […]

Read more

Governor Brown’s Attack on Prop 218 Is a Threat to the Middle Class

Jon Coupal
President of the Howard Jarvis Taxpayers Association

Governor Brown has foolishly decided to poke a hornets’ nest with his signing of Assembly Bill 401.  While AB 401 itself isn’t particularly controversial, as it merely authorizes a couple of state agencies to devise a plan by 2018 to assist low income individuals with paying their water bills, the problem is what Brown wrote […]

Read more