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GOP: 'Top 10 List of Dems' Tax Increases'

Capitol Report

Posted: April 6, 2008 2:36 a.m.
Updated: June 7, 2008 5:02 a.m.
In Sacramento, we are at a time of the year when we are forced to make tough, but necessary, decisions in terms of dealing with the state budget. Unfortunately, my Democratic colleagues are only interested in one thing: taxing hard-working Californians.

Rather than working with Republicans to cut wasteful spending and help the state live within its means, my Democratic colleagues in Sacramento refuses to cut back on their unhealthy addiction to runaway spending, despite California's $16 billion budget deficit.

If Democrats have their way, get ready to pay higher taxes on the car you drive, the gas you pump, the home you and your family live in, the health care you rely on, anything you purchase on the Internet, and even the plastic bags you use to carry groceries at the store.

Here are the "Top 10" tax increases proposed by Democrats so far this year:

10. The iTunes Tax - Assembly Bill 1956 (Calderon) would require state tax officials to begin imposing sales taxes on music, movies and software purchases made online, such as on iTunes. Democrats have also talked about taxing all items purchased on the Internet ($500 million tax increase).

9. The Plastic Bag Tax - Assembly Bill 2829 (Davis) would impose a new plastic bag tax, at a still-unspecified level, on the bags used by grocery stores and other retailers to package purchases.

8. Making It Easier for Politicians to Raise Taxes - Senate Constitutional Amendment 18 (Torlakson) would make it easier for local politicians to raise taxes by allowing educational finance districts to impose special taxes by a majority vote.

7. Increasing the Car Tax - Assembly Bill 2388 (Feuer) would raise the car tax, based on the weight of the vehicle and the amount of carbon dioxide emissions it emits, to a still-unspecified level.

Assembly Bill 2522 (Arambula) would authorize San Joaquin Valley air quality officials to impose a new $30 car tax on local drivers - without a vote of the people.

Assembly Bill 2638 (Coto) would impose a new sales tax on the sale of cars in California that get less than 15 miles per gallon.

Senate Bill 1731 (Yee) would authorize San Francisco Bay Area transportation officials to impose a higher car tax on local drivers - without a vote of the people.

Democrats have also proposed restoring the higher car tax imposed by former Gov. Gray Davis and repealed by Gov. Schwarzenegger upon taking office - a $6 billion tax increase.

6. Increasing the Gas Tax - Assembly Speaker Fabian Núñez has proposed a bill that would impose a costly new "oil severance" tax on the cost of oil production in California. This will cause gas prices to soar new heights in California as this new tax will be passed along to consumers in the form of higher prices at the pump.

Assembly Bill 2744 (Huffman) would authorize San Francisco Bay Area transportation officials to impose a new gas tax, of as much as 10 cents per gallon, to pay for new government spending.

Assembly Bill 2558 (Feuer) would authorize Los Angeles transportation officials to impose one of two different taxes, subject to a majority vote, to address climate change - an increased gas tax as high as 3 percent, or an increased car tax as high as $80.

5. Raising Income Taxes - Assembly Bill 2372 (Coto) would impose a new 1 percent tax on Californians earning more than $1 million per year, raising the state's highest income tax rate to 11.3 percent.
Assembly Bill 2897 (Hancock) would impose a new 10 percent tax rate for individuals earning more than $136,115 every year ($272,230 for joint filers) and a new 11 percent tax rate for individuals earning more than $272,230 per year ($544,460 for joint filers).

4. Closing So-Called "Tax Loopholes" - Democrats and others have pushed closing "tax loopholes," which is an effort to raise taxes on working Californians. These so-called loopholes include taking away the senior citizen tax credit (a $255 million tax increase) and reducing the child dependent tax credit ($2.4 billion) - which will hurt middle-class families.

3. New Health Taxes - Democrats have proposed the largest tax increase on businesses in state history, an $8 billion jobs tax, to pay for government-run health care. In addition, Assembly Bill 2967 (Fuentes) would impose a new .06 percent tax on the gross operating costs of every California hospital, to pay for new government health care programs.

2. Creating a New Tax on California Businesses - Speaker Núñez has talked about creating a new split-roll property tax on California businesses, which would be a $3 to $7 billion tax increase on businesses. This would lead to higher prices for consumers and the threat of job losses.

1. Taking Away the Home Mortgage Interest Deduction - Democrats have proposed eliminating the state home mortgage interest deduction, also known as the homeowner's tax, which provides significant tax savings for working families and helps many Californians afford the expensive costs of home ownership. This would be a $5.3 billion tax hike.

As we work to balance the budget and reduce the deficit, I will stand firm with my Assembly Republican colleagues in defending hard-working California taxpayers.

Assemblyman Cameron Smyth, R-Santa Clarita, represents the 38th Assembly District in the California Legislature. His column reflects his own views, not necessarily those of The Signal.


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