Higher Taxes For Grocers, Casinos!

Steven Greenhut: The California Grocers Association and the Pechanga Tribe of Indians have endorsed putting Gov. Jerry Brown’s tax-increase plans on the ballot. Because these groups seem to believe that taxes are the key to prosperity, the Legislature should immediately pass tax increases on grocery stores and Indian casinos. The casinos pay few taxes as it is. I’m being facetious obviously, but these groups out to lead the way.

Here’s the governor’s release:

Governor Jerry Brown today announced that he has received supportive letters from the Pechanga Band of Luiseño Indians and the California Grocers Association for his budget plan and letting California voters decide whether or not to temporarily extend existing taxes.

In a letter to the California State Legislature, Mark Macarro, tribal chairman of Pechanga Tribe wrote, “Given the deep and seemingly unbridgeable philosophical divide that exists in our State Capitol today, we believe the voice of the voters must be heard to determine the size, scope, and efficacy of services provided by state government.”

“California is clearly at a crossroads. The voters and taxpayers should have the right to decide on whether or not to continue paying higher taxes or further reduce funding for public safety, schools, universities, and support for California’s most vulnerable citizens.”

In a letter to Governor Brown, California Grocers Association Chairman Jim Amen and President & CEO Ronald K. Fong wrote to “express support of your efforts in concept, which will allow voters to decide California’s future. It goes without saying that our state is faced with an unprecedented deficit and that the solution to our current fiscal problems will be significantly burdensome for citizens and businesses alike.”

“The grocery industry has a unique perspective in that at one point or another, we interact with essentially each Californian whether as a customer, supplier, or member of the community. Our first priority is our customers – which means our first priority is California.”

“The alternatives before you and other elected leaders are grim indeed – but the consequences of inaction are catastrophic,” they added.

The Pechanga Tribe and the California Grocers Association both identified areas for additional discussion in their letters.

“These are important endorsements,” said Governor Brown, “and they are further evidence of the growing support for letting taxpayers vote on whether to temporarily extend existing taxes or impose draconian cuts on education and public safety.”

The Governor’s plan has been backed by a wide spectrum of state leaders, including the Silicon Valley Leadership Group, California Small Business Association, California Black Chamber of Commerce, California Hispanic Chambers of Commerce, Los Angeles Area Chamber of Commerce, San Francisco Chamber of Commerce, Valley Industry & Commerce Association, Bay Area Council, California Association of Independent Business, Central City Association of Los Angeles, Los Angeles County Sheriff Lee Baca, California Police Chiefs Association, Peace Officers Research Association of California, California Peace Officers’ Association, California State Sheriffs’ Association, Chief Probation Officers of California, Association for Los Angeles County Deputy Sheriffs, and the Los Angeles County Deputy Probation Officers Union.

MARCH 9, 2011

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