In Case You Missed It: "California has a huge surplus. So why are legislators still trying to raise taxes?"

By Robert Gutierrez
Special to CALmatters
May 28, 2019 

With the state and local governments posting large revenue gains under the existing tax structure, there is absolutely no reason for lawmakers to consider changing the state constitution to increase the local tax burden.

Two tax increase measures have reached the floors of the Senate and Assembly. Both threaten to delete Proposition 13’s important taxpayer protections from the California Constitution.

The measures under consideration–Assembly Constitutional Amendment 1 and Senate Constitutional Amendment 5–could result in additional sales taxes, property parcel taxes, Mello-Roos taxes, phone taxes, cable taxes, business license taxes, payroll taxes, real estate sales transfer taxes, and hotel and lodging taxes.

these measures are taxes on California affordability.

ACA 1, pending on the Assembly floor, would allow local governments to increase special taxes with a 55 percent vote of the electorate, instead of the currently required two-thirds vote…

SCA 5, on the Senate floor, would allow school districts and community college districts to increase property taxes with 55 percent voter approval, rather than the current two-thirds vote.

Considering that Gov. Gavin Newsom this month projected that the state will have $30 billion in reserves by the end of the 2019-20 fiscal year, and the Legislative Analyst’s Office says the state has an operating surplus of $22 billion, it is surprising that anyone is still talking about tax increases.


Robert Gutierrez wrote this commentary and is the president and chief executive officer of the California Taxpayers Association.

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