Sen. Ted Lieu’s vehicle tax plan: Let’s hope it gets on ballot

Nov. 16, 2012

By Chris Reed

State Sen. Ted Lieu, D-Redondo Beach, is launching a push for a 2014 constitutional amendment that would more than triple the vehicle license fee, also known as the car tax. Here’s hoping it makes the ballot. I still have plenty of faith that voters won’t just go along with giving Sacramento billions with no truly binding strings attached.

Instead, it takes precisely focused blackmail like Prop. 30 to bully California voters into line. It may have been dishonorable to sell a tax-hike prop with a specific warning that schoolkids would suffer unless it passed, but it was effective.

Before 30’s approval, one has to go all the way back to 1990 to see state voters approve a tax hike that hit everyone. And as recently as June, voters rejected a specific tax hike on smokers, which is striking, given how often smokers are treated like pariahs.

So instead of being leery of Lieu’s looming larcenous lunge, let’s welcome it. A lopsided voter rejection of a tripling of the car tax would be a great reminder to Sacramento that taxpayers still don’t trust them.

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