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Court of Appeal Asks Secretary of State to Explain Herself

Jon Coupal
President of the Howard Jarvis Taxpayers Association

Editor’s Note: The Howard Jarvis Taxpayers Association intervened in the case brought against the Secretary of State by Molly Munger over the numbering of the ballot propositions. When Munger lost in Superior court, she stepped aside and HJTA appealed. In a victory for the integrity of the ballot process, the Court of Appeal for the […]

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From Bad to Worse

Jon Coupal
President of the Howard Jarvis Taxpayers Association

In Sacramento, the appalling consequences of one party rule have become manifest. Last summer, I wrote about one party rule in the Legislature and pointed out the similarities with the early days of Fascist Italy, where the party gained control of the Italian Parliament through intimidation. I concluded, “Today in Sacramento, to impose one political […]

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Stunning Shift on High Speed Rail

Jon Coupal
President of the Howard Jarvis Taxpayers Association

Nothing epitomizes the abject failure of California governance more than the so-called High Speed Rail Project or, as it has been derisively labeled, High Speed Fail. To recap, in 2008 voters narrowly approved a $10 billion down payment for the construction of a high speed rail network between the Bay Area and Los Angeles that […]

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Repaying This State Borrowing Goes Up in Smoke

Jon Coupal
President of the Howard Jarvis Taxpayers Association

Sacramento politicians and Japanese censors during WWII share a similar philosophy — they do their best to prevent the public from learning of their leaders’ mistakes. The turning point of WWII in the Pacific was the battle of Midway where the Japanese fleet suffered a catastrophic defeat with the loss of four aircraft carriers. The […]

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Stop Special Interest Money

Jon Coupal
President of the Howard Jarvis Taxpayers Association

Unless one is wearing Brown colored glasses, it is easy to see that California is a mess. We rank second in unemployment and millions of Californians have fled the state since the millennium — most as economic refugees seeking to carve out a better life for themselves where taxes are lower and job opportunities are […]

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Jerry Brown As Insurance Commissioner?

Jon Coupal
President of the Howard Jarvis Taxpayers Association

Wait. We know that Jerry Brown is California’s Governor and Dave Jones is our Insurance Commissioner. So what’s up with the title of this column? The fact is, Brown isn’t so much insurance commissioner as he is in the business of selling insurance. To understand this, realize that a major oil company, casino Indian tribes […]

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Split Roll Measure Will Be Defeated

Jon Coupal
President of the Howard Jarvis Taxpayers Association

The latest attempt at a massive tax increase is unlikely to gain traction. A split roll to raise taxes on commercial property was filed yesterday.  As the Field Poll recently made clear, Prop. 13 remains remarkably popular and there is simply no way the proponents can sell this as anything but a repeal of 13 […]

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HJTA Threatens Lawsuit Over Governor Brown’s New “Fire Tax”

Jon Coupal
President of the Howard Jarvis Taxpayers Association

The Howard Jarvis Taxpayers Association announced its intention to sue the State of California if it attempts to collect a new fire tax that could cost homeowners an additional $150 per year. The State’s largest taxpayer organization plans to file a lawsuit on the grounds that the new fire tax qualifies as a tax increase […]

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Jerry Brown Can Be a Hero

Jon Coupal
President of the Howard Jarvis Taxpayers Association

As part of his ongoing campaign to raise taxes, last week Jerry Brown made a pilgrimage to a major labor confab in Las Vegas. There he delivered a fiery speech to thousands of union delegates, touting his labor credentials and lashing out at Republicans and the Howard Jarvis Taxpayers Association, blaming the minority party and […]

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What Citizen Taxpayers Should Know about the Single Sales Factor Dispute

Jon Coupal
President of the Howard Jarvis Taxpayers Association

Last week, Governor Brown made a big splash pushing a business tax reform proposal. This issue involves how national and international corporations are taxed under California law. As the result of the budget deal crafted two years ago (a deal that hit citizen taxpayers hard) corporations were given a choice over how they were taxed. The details aren’t that important for normal people and the issue is a bit complicated. (There was a humorous moment when Darrell Steinberg said “this is simple” and, moments later, Jerry Brown said this is a “complicated issue” and he wasn’t even sure he understood it.)

Whether corporations should be given the opportunity to elect how they are taxed might very well be a legitimate discussion to have. (But Joel Fox makes the valid point that the absence of predictability due to these radical changes in tax policy every few months is a contributing factor to the perception that California is anti-business, if not outright weird).

What is clear is that the elimination of the right to elect would be a tax increase. Pure and simple. Moreover, any such proposal requires a two-thirds vote of each house. The good news is that compliance with Prop 13’s requirement on this issue appears to be a given – even among the Democrats.

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