‘Polluter class’ facing more tax increases

Nov. 12, 2012

By Katy Grimes

Now that Gov. Jerry Brown’s wishes have all come true with the passage of Proposition 30 and hefty tax increases, taxpayers and business owners are hoping that he has a heart and puts an end to the upcoming cap and trade auction.

However, hoping for change hasn’t worked out very well for the state’s business class.

A state agency most Californians have never heard of is about to impose a sizeable carbon tax on the state’s “polluter class.”

The California Air Resources Board, made up of unelected state officials and career bureaucrats, has been busy imposing costly regulations on California businesses.

The agency is able to do this thanks to the state Legislature.

When the Legislature passed AB 32, California’s Global Warming Solutions Act of 2006, a new era of government control and expansion was ushered in. CARB was given the authority to create strict new environmental controls over every aspect of  business and commerce within the state as well as the lives of California residents.

As a result of AB 32, CARB was given the authority to create a regulation to reduce passenger car greenhouse gas emissions. But it didn’t stop there.

CARB recently developed and now enforces strict diesel regulations on truckers. Most of California’s trucking companies, businesses which have shipping departments, and independent truck drivers were forced to purchase expensive new trucks at a minimum cost of $50,000 to $60,000 extra.

These diesel regulations are now being enforced with the help of the California Highway Patrol. I recently contacted the CHP to ask what its level of enforcement was for CARB, but none of my phone calls was returned.

Cap and trade

While the rest of the country was shelving cap and trade programs and backing off of selling carbon allowances to businesses because of the drastic national economic downturn, CARB forged ahead stubbornly and recklessly.

If the governor allows CARB to continue with cap and trade, California businesses will be forced to purchase carbon credits from the air resources agency in order to keep doing business in California.

When all is said and done, cap and trade is an environmental tax on business. Even the Legislative Analyst’s Office reported that cap and trade is not needed to lower greenhouse gas emissions in California, if that is the true goal of AB 32.

Despite pleas from California’s diverse business and industry sector to postpone the auction indefinitely, CARB appears to be determined to conduct the first auction on Wednesday.

CARB will hold auctions “to allow market participants to acquire allowances directly from ARB,” the CARB website says.

One business owner I recently talked with about the carbon auction is fearful. He knows that he is considered one of the “polluter class” of businesses, but said that he wants to tell Brown, “Get your boot off of my neck. I can’t breathe.”

More rumors

Rumors are still flying around that Brown may announce that the CARB cap and trade auction is postponed or off. There are several business groups that have talked seriously about suing CARB to force a halt to the auction, but nothing has been filed yet.

The Legislative Analyst’s Office explained in a letter to the Legislature that an allowance auction is not needed to meet the mandate of AB 32, and said that cap and trade regulation will greatly increase production costs for businesses forced to comply with CARB’s regulations.

AB 32 authorizes the governor to delay cap and trade for one year during a period of poor economic conditions. After Nov. 6’s passage of a $7 billion tax increase on Californians making $250,000 or more annually, a new statewide sales tax increase, a $1 billion tax increase on out-of-state businesses doing business in California, double-digit unemployment, and 4 million chronically unemployed Californians, economic conditions are already poor.

16 comments

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  1. Bob
    Bob 12 November, 2012, 11:38

    I don’t know. Did you see the Brown CNN interview over the weekend? I didn’t but did hear about it and the Old Brown Buzzard sure didn’t come off as one who would back off cap-n-tax.

    Peter Schiff sure took apart Brown and his arguements this morning on his show.

    Reply this comment
  2. us citizen
    us citizen 12 November, 2012, 12:41

    Brown and the whole lib state can go pound sand.

    Reply this comment
  3. Sean Morham
    Sean Morham 12 November, 2012, 14:20

    The tax parade will not end. We(household) have identifed $6000 of planned purchases we will not make in anticipation of higher state taxes and fees(not all known yet) by the end of 2013. Cap and Trade will be a hidden cost of the same ilk. Voting is not the best revenge(sorry Mr. President), not spending in Cal is. Hey Governor, Sleazebag Steinbalm, BD Johnnie, eat s&)’!!

    Reply this comment
  4. AB32 Fighter
    AB32 Fighter 12 November, 2012, 14:39

    Remember that Chinese and other foreign manufacturers will not be burdened by AB32, so California businesses will be operating at even more of a disadvantage. At least a straight carbon tax could have been applied to imported goods, but AB32 is just a disaster in the making.

    Reply this comment
  5. Queeg
    Queeg 12 November, 2012, 17:56

    You will love your five buck single scoop ice cream cone…..your home annual energy audit and permit means tested fee.

    Reply this comment
  6. Hondo
    Hondo 12 November, 2012, 18:26

    Without a certain level of economic activity, you can’t raise enough revenue to fund the government. If Moonbeam doesn’t take his ‘boot’ off the neck of Kalifornia business, he can raise taxes all he wants. He just won’t get the money it takes to fund his entitlement state. This is why Kali has a structural deficit and a constant 10% unemployment rate.
    Hondo….

    Reply this comment
  7. Steve Secor
    Steve Secor 12 November, 2012, 18:43

    A while back we Californian’s lost the most highest taxed state trophy to New York. But Jerry’s got his hands wraped around that trophy now. Funny thing is, New York and California are the highest taxed states, their also the most bankrupt states. If high taxes are the answer how can that be?

    Reply this comment
  8. Queeg
    Queeg 12 November, 2012, 19:47

    Hondo no sevice economy can continually increase productivity…prices rise…then nail biting begins…demand drops…lay offs….Kali happens…continues…

    Reply this comment
  9. Stanley K.
    Stanley K. 13 November, 2012, 07:39

    I couldn’t find the CNN video but here is a SacBee article that recounts the gist of the Gov.’s interview with Candy Crowley on Sunday morning. Even considering it is Jerry Brown I found his statements shocking. Now that we are in post-election territory he apparently imagines himself to be in a safe and comfy place where nothing can touch him. Note, however, the many pages of angry comments attached to the article:
    http://blogs.sacbee.com/capitolalertlatest/2012/11/jerry-brown-california-tax-vote-start-of-national-tax-hike-sweep.html

    Reply this comment
  10. CalWatchdog
    CalWatchdog Author 13 November, 2012, 08:04

    Here is a link to the story I wrote about Candy Crowley’s interview with Jerry Brown: http://www.calwatchdog.com/2012/09/10/ca-lawmakers-dont-care-about-aftermath/

    Reply this comment
  11. Ulysses Uhaul
    Ulysses Uhaul 13 November, 2012, 09:13

    The sky is always falling at CWD….

    -concerned about doomers’ mental health-

    Reply this comment
  12. Stanley K.
    Stanley K. 13 November, 2012, 09:30

    Thank you, Katy, you are completely on top of these matters as usual.
    Can’t help noticing that Jerry Brown — in addition to aping the false roads-bridges-schools mantra of the Obama admin — appears to be speaking to a national audience in hopes that his California one won’t notice him doing it.
    Please excuse me if this an obvious point.

    Reply this comment
  13. CalWatchdog
    CalWatchdog Author 13 November, 2012, 14:28

    You are right Stanley; Brown did this throughout his campaign for Prop. 30. He wasn’t even subtle about the talking points he clearly used from the DNC. And he did this while illegally campaigning in schools and churches.

    Katy

    Reply this comment
  14. Ulysses Uhaul
    Ulysses Uhaul 13 November, 2012, 21:31

    The utilities will gladly pay their carb extortion fees.

    AND PASS THEM ON TO YOU!

    So there-

    Buzzard

    Reply this comment
  15. SeeSaw
    SeeSaw 15 November, 2012, 22:37

    Wish I could read those comments on the SacBee Stanley, but it has decided that people like me can no longer do that unless we pay them $6.95/mo.

    Reply this comment
  16. SeeSaw
    SeeSaw 15 November, 2012, 22:38

    What else is new? The churches get involved in political campaigns and pay no taxes!

    Reply this comment

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