Assembly GOP members break no-tax pledge

TaxiforniaApril 17, 2013

By John Hrabe

The Assembly Republican Caucus, though small in number, has retained limited power in Sacramento by maintaining a united caucus on one issue: taxes.

Not anymore. A multi-billion-dollar tax extension quickly working its way through the California Legislature has Republican legislators embracing every side of the issue: yes, no and maybe so.

Even as Republican ranks have sunk to super-minority status, Assembly GOP leader Connie Conway of Tulare has been unable to maintain unity even on her party’s signature issue.

Assembly Bill 8, co-authored by Assembly Members Henry Perea, D-Fresno, and Nancy Skinner, D-Berkeley, would extend the sunset date on more than $2 billion in taxes and fees. The additional revenue would fund alternative fuel and vehicle programs. Last week, the bill cleared the Assembly Transportation Committee on a 10-3 vote, with Assemblyman Katcho Achadjian, R-San Luis Obispo, in support and abstentions from Assemblymen Eric Linder, R-Corona, and Jim Patterson, R-Fresno.

“If Republicans can’t agree with the grassroots movement on tax hikes, what do they stand for at all?” Jon Coupal, president of the Howard Jarvis Taxpayers Association, asked CalWatchdog.com. “With several Republicans supporting AB 8, a multi-billion-dollar tax increase, the Republican brand may have been tarnished.”

Tax extensions

The bill would extend until January 1, 2024:

* An $8 increase in the smog abatement fee;

* A $0.75 fee increase on tire sales;

* A $3 additional fee on the annual vehicle registration fee;

* A $2 surcharge for local air districts on vehicle registrations;

* A $5 increase of the fee for special identification plates for construction equipment, farm trailers, cotton trailers, logging vehicles and cemetery equipment;

* A $10 and $20 increase for vessel registration.

The total bill to taxpayers, as calculated by the Howard Jarvis Taxpayers Association: $2.3 billion.

Linder, who along with Achadjian signed the Taxpayer Protection Pledge, which promises a signer’s vote against any and all efforts to increase taxes, said that there are valid arguments on both sides of the multi-billion tax increase.

“Both sides made valid arguments and raised important questions that remain unanswered,” said Linder. “This issue is too important to be rushed through and it is good that the process is still ongoing. The Legislature still has more work to do.”

A bill analysis by the Assembly Transportation Committee, which Linder oversees as vice-chairman, makes clear that the bill is considered a tax increase under Proposition 26 and is subject to a two-thirds vote.  “Because this bill extends the additional fees on vehicle and boat registrations and a portion of the tire fee, and because these fees are deemed taxes under Proposition 26, this bill requires a two-thirds vote,” the policy committee analysis states.

Why GOP tax support?

So why are some Republicans supporting or abstaining on a multi-billion-dollar tax increase?

The additional revenue would be spent on programs for the construction of hydrogen fueling stations and the Carl Moyer Memorial Air Quality Standards Attainment Program, which provides taxpayer-funded grants for businesses to buy new eco-friendly engines and equipment. It also postpones new regulations by the Air Resources Board, a move which is praised by businesses and criticized by environmental groups like the Sierra Cub.

“Any time there is the talk of taxes and regulations and fees, it always gives me heartache,” Achadjian said during the committee hearing. “Coming from a county that’s rich with agriculture, fishing industry, truckers going in and out, they have all benefited from these taxes. This is one time that I can attest that hard-earned monies in taxes have served its purpose.”

Achadjian, who has received campaign contributions from the California Trucking Association, made a point to recognize how the tax extension would help truckers. He said, “With the new regulations that are going to hit the trucking industry… those are the folks who employ people, those are the folks who keep the economy going, so in honor of their efforts, I am going to support the bill.”

If the Sierra Club and Howard Jarvis Taxpayers Association sound like the political odd couple, they’re matched by members of the Transportation Committee. Joining Republican Assemblymen Dan Logue of Lake Wildwood and Mike Morrell of Rancho Cucamonga in opposing the bill was Assemblyman Tom Ammiano, D-San Francisco. He believes the legislation transfers costs from corporations to taxpayers.

“Although this bill does extend some incentives for clean air programs, it can have some adverse effects that go beyond that,” Ammiano told CalWatchdog.com. “In rolling back ARB’s legitimate regulations, it weakens that important state agency. In addition, it transfers costs of some of these programs from corporations to the taxpayers.”

Coupal lamented the end of a unified Republican opposition to tax increases. “Although HJTA is a non-partisan organization with a third of its members Democrats, it has traditionally been Republicans in the Legislature that have provided the bulwark against tax increases.  No more,” he said.

The Assembly Natural Resources will consider AB 8 on April 29. The bill is supported by a long list of industry groups, including the Alliance of Automobile Manufacturers, Association of Global Automakers, California Farm Bureau Federation, California Trucking Association, California Manufacturers & Technology Association and Western States Petroleum Association as well as by environmental organizations, such as the California Air Resources Board and Environmental Defense Fund.

24 comments

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  1. Ted
    Ted "Eddy Baby" Steele, Associate Prof. 17 April, 2013, 11:53

    LOL– new taxes?

    Out they go!

    Repubs eat their young!

    Reply this comment
  2. stolson
    stolson 17 April, 2013, 11:58

    freakin unreal. CA has the most and highest taxes already. When will they stop dollaring us to death? I really think a big march on these idiots in Sacramento is needed. Maybe CalWatch can start it up!
    How do we get this awful news out to the low information people?

    Reply this comment
  3. us citizen
    us citizen 17 April, 2013, 12:24

    One………..Im for a march!

    Two………….Low info people dont care, most are on the take, some are just stupid and will never get it.

    Three……….this state is headed for movie star rich people, and their illegals friends. The rest of us will leave.

    Reply this comment
  4. stolson
    stolson 17 April, 2013, 12:38

    Well, I do agree the middle class is not wanted here anymore, nor is small business and farms. It is a matter of time if this can be reversed, but doesn’t appear good. How would a march be started?
    I have marched, but not been a leader. Permits?
    Tea Party activists to be as head?

    Reply this comment
  5. Pest Control
    Pest Control 17 April, 2013, 14:55

    Are we surprised? The GOP hasn’t done much of anything lately to keep spending low and in turn taxes. The GOP Bulwark is crumbling.
    Of course, I am just a pest control guy.

    Reply this comment
  6. Dyspeptic
    Dyspeptic 17 April, 2013, 15:08

    “Republican brand may have been tarnished”

    That’s funny. Jon Coupal has a talent for understatement.

    Oh well, it’s not like the Republicans matter any more. They’re just being dragged along behind the ProgNazi bandwagon hoping for a ride.

    Agree with us citizen and stolson, this state is just one big work camp for illegals, run by the super rich and the Democrap Party elites. No future here for the fast dwindling middle class. Still, most middle class will choose to remain, they just won’t stay middle class for long. A lot of people prefer nice weather and good ethnic food to prosperity and liberty. Go figure.

    Protest marches only work for Leftists however. You could get a million tax protesters to light their hair on fire and march on Excremento and the lamestream media wouldn’t even notice. On the other hand, if so much as a single cross-eyed hunchback lesbian midget stands on a street corner screaming DISCRIMINATION! it’s a lead story on the evening news.

    Reply this comment
  7. Ulysses Uhaul
    Ulysses Uhaul 17 April, 2013, 15:21

    Republicans are pathetic…..even tea party types run from them. Sleep with both eyes open doomers….

    Reply this comment
  8. fish
    fish 17 April, 2013, 15:25

    Sleep with both eyes open doomers….

    Why….is something going to happen…..I’d hate to miss it.

    Reply this comment
  9. Brown delta trout
    Brown delta trout 17 April, 2013, 15:36

    Queegs gonna break from the internment camp with a pressure cooker he stole from the kitchen…

    Reply this comment
  10. Mad Max
    Mad Max 17 April, 2013, 16:57

    Money for hydrogen fueling stations? Swell! If hydrogen is such a great motor fuel, then why don’t they run the bullet train with it?

    Reply this comment
  11. Ulysses Uhaul
    Ulysses Uhaul 17 April, 2013, 18:01

    Queeg is busy moving some right wingers to southern Missouri…..he did tell me though….delta needs professional assistance.

    Reply this comment
  12. fish
    fish 18 April, 2013, 09:55

    .he did tell me though….delta needs professional assistance.

    Well Queef would know…..

    Reply this comment
  13. Ted
    Ted "Eddy Baby" Steele, Associate Prof. 19 April, 2013, 09:45

    Pest Control had THE best post on this thread!

    Well done laddie!

    The gloom and doom squad could learn something from this little buddy!

    Reply this comment
  14. fish
    fish 19 April, 2013, 09:59

    The GOP Bulwark is crumbling.

    GOP Bulwark….in California….now Ted……..even during your “me time” (periods of autoerotic asphyxiation) you need to let a little air in to the hefty bag.

    I’m not sure that in your state losing additional brain cells is warranted.

    Reply this comment
  15. Ted
    Ted "Eddy Baby" Steele, Associate Prof. 19 April, 2013, 22:09

    Fishlips—- not too sure what fantasy exactly you are trying to spin with your limited ability to communicate, but it is clearly what we refer to as projection.

    But thanks for playing little buddy!

    Mmmmmmmm—– you LOVE the attention…..mmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmm

    Reply this comment
  16. fish
    fish 20 April, 2013, 08:27

    …….not too sure what fantasy exactly you are trying to spin with your limited ability to communicate…..

    “I can read the mechanic’s lips ‘I much fear trouble in the fuselage………………

    LOL Ted ROTFLMAO………..

    Reply this comment
  17. The Africanized Swarm of Ted Steele System
    The Africanized Swarm of Ted Steele System 20 April, 2013, 08:51

    mmmm—- i bet you have alot of fears and shadowy projections……mmmmmmmmm…..

    Reply this comment
  18. The Africanized Swarm of Ted Steele System
    The Africanized Swarm of Ted Steele System 20 April, 2013, 08:53

    and of course– you’re not Oscar…you’re a poodle……lol——this is so easy…..

    Reply this comment
  19. fish
    fish 20 April, 2013, 09:59

    Ted…huuuge step….an investigation of the origin of quotes (scribbles furiously in my Ted Steele, Ambiguously Sized Bingo Arm Waving Post Menopausal Department of Health and Human Services Johnny Punch Clock State Careerist Work the System Guy/Gal.

    Well done Ted! I’ll consult with another doctor and see if we can have your dosage lowered a bit.

    Reply this comment
  20. The Africanized Swarm of Ted Steele System
    The Africanized Swarm of Ted Steele System 20 April, 2013, 18:09

    LOL you might want to close your )’s……but to be honest, regression in service of the ego, and, well, meds, probably leave you with alot of half formed and loosely associated thoughts!

    OOOOOOOOOOOOOuch!

    Leep dreaming about me—mmmmmmmmmmmmm—– Ted

    Reply this comment
  21. fish
    fish 21 April, 2013, 11:23

    LOL Ted you might want to look before you leep! LOL Ted LOL

    And speaking about the need to alter your dosages, you might also want to mention to your caseworker that some of the meds are affecting your manual dexterity leading to an inability to remove your fingers from certain lettersssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssss!

    Reply this comment
  22. The Africanized Swarm of Ted Steele System
    The Africanized Swarm of Ted Steele System 21 April, 2013, 19:32

    #PoorFishlips!

    What a big weekend he’s having! He can’t get the Ted Steele System ™ out of his tiny skull!

    well here ya go little buddy!– LOL– mmmmmmmmmmmmmm

    Reply this comment
  23. Queeg
    Queeg 21 April, 2013, 19:32

    The Carp is irrelevant……shun him Teddy…….doomers pull him……..so yesterday!

    Reply this comment
  24. fish
    fish 21 April, 2013, 21:22

    It’s so funny when you talk to yourself Ted like that. You put the fun back in dysfunction.


    “Excuse me, Queegster, may I mambo dogface to the banana patch?”

    Reply this comment

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