CalWatchdog Morning Read – January 23

  • Snack tax may soon be back
  • Voter fraud test
  • Cap and trade suit vital to state’s environmental policies
  • Newsom: Thiel gubernatorial run could be “intriguing”
  • Voters removed much wiggle room from budget

Good morning! A tax on snacks may soon be back. 

A bill introduced by Assemblywoman Cristina Garcia, D-Bell Gardens, would roll back the sales and usage tax exemptions for certain, less-nutritious, snack foods.

The measure, part of Garcia’s agenda to highlight inequities in the tax code, requires a heavy lift to become law. In 1992, voters repealed a tax on snacks, leaving most candy and junk food exempt from sales tax. The measure requires two-thirds majority and a vote of the people.

Garcia’s office estimates the measure would bring in around $1 billion in tax revenue annually. 

While the additional revenue could fund any number of priorities, Garcia has long sought to make a point that snacks with little nutritional value are not taxed, while necessities — feminine hygiene products like tampons — are.

“As I took a closer look at our tax code, it became apparent that while California’s policy is to tax luxury items, the reality is that it’s inconsistent,” Garcia said in a statement. “We tax necessities like tampons but exempt chocolate bars.”

CalWatchdog has more. 

In other news: 

  • Voter Fraud: “Voter fraud ‘test’ could backfire.” The Orange County Register has the story. 

  • Cap and Trade Challenge: “With President Trump in the Oval Office, California officials are bracing for the possibility that the new administration will undermine the state’s landmark policies on climate change. But the more immediate threat isn’t coming from Washington; it lies in a lawsuit that has been slowly winding its way through state courts.” The Los Angeles Times has more. 

  • 2018: “Lt. Gov. Gavin Newsom says it could get ‘intriguing’ if Peter Thiel, the billionaire tech entrepreneur and key ally of President Donald Trump, makes a move to challenge him in next year’s governor’s race,” reports Politico.

  • Budget: “Now more than ever, voters have decided that billions of those dollars should make their way through Sacramento with hardly a single politician’s fingerprints on them,” reports the Los Angeles Times

Legislature:

  • Assembly in at 1 p.m. Senate in at 2 p.m., will vote on Xavier Becerra for attorney general.

Gov. Brown:

  • No public events announced. 

Tips: [email protected]

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