Local Tax Hikes Would Split CA

John Seiler:

The latest fiscal folly is Senate President Pro-Tem Darrell Steinberg’s bill, SB 653, to allow local governments to increase taxes above state levels. They already can do so with county sales taxes with a vote of the people. But there’s a built-in limitation with sales taxes: people easily can shop in another county.

SB 653 would allow local taxes increases, as well, on income taxes, the car tax, business taxes, property taxes and numerous excise taxes, as on cigarettes, booze, soda and even medical marijuana, which technically still is illegal according to federal law (but shouldn’t be).

Maximums for each tax would be established, such as 1 percentage point for the income tax. But if all the tax increases are imposed in a particular area — which, given the nature of Democrats’ tax obsession, is likely to happen — the multiple increases could be hefty.

According to Kathryn Baron, Steinberg’s bill is a tactical ploy:

The tactical, of course, is leverage with the Republicans if they continue their path of resistance against letting voters decide whether to extend some tax increases in order to close the remaining $10 billion budget gap. Although he didn’t come right out and say it’s a bargaining chip, Steinberg spokesman Mark Hedlund noted that Republicans are calling for pension reform, a spending cap, and some regulatory reform. With the budget deadline of June 15th within sight, “there’s going to be a lot of moving parts over the next three weeks,” said Hedlund. “There is a lot of compromise and a lot of negotiating and a lot of give and take involved in the budgetary process, so it’s just hammering out the details.”

Well, just let Democrats pass SB 653 into law. At this point, I don’t care. I live in Orange County, which would rebuff any local tax increases. So would most Republican areas.

The GOP should call Steinberg’s bluff and keep opposing statewide tax increases — thus leading the Democrats to impose SB 653 on the state.

The tax increases would be centered in Democratic areas, such as Los Angeles, San Francisco, Santa Cruz and Steinberg’s native Sacramento.

Thus, productive people would flee the Democrat areas for Republican areas. The Dem areas’ tax and vote base would erode, while the GOP areas’ tax and vote base increased.

Pressure would be on to split the state, something that should happen anyway. Even former Gov. Pat Brown, Jerry’s daddy, favored splitting the state.

I’m against all tax increases. But I say: Republicans should favor allowing Democrats to commit fiscal suicide in their counties.

America is a democracy. And as H.L. Mencken put it, “Democracy is the theory that the common people know what they want, and deserve to get it good and hard.”

One, two, many Californias!

May 27, 2011


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