by Fran Freedle
On June 15, the Democrat Legislature passed what they called a “balanced budget” which is required under Proposition 25, passed by the voters last November, requiring a balanced budget to be passed by June 15, or the legislators would not be paid until a balanced budget is passed. Salaries cannot be paid
until this happens – no retroactive payments.
Well, the Democrats did it by majority vote without Republican support. They passed what they consider to be a balanced budget full of gimmicks, one-time solutions, tax increases and accounting tricks.
It includes no structural reform – the one thing that is really needed with reduced spending – but we may have to endure:
A ¼ cent increase in sales tax
A $12 surcharge on Vehicle License Fees commonly known as the car tax
A new sales tax on every online purchase
A $150 fee each year on property owners in approximately 1/3 of the state where California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection provides fire services – that’s most of Nevada County.
Our abnormally high sales tax is scheduled to decrease one full percentage point on July 1. They want to continue ¼ percent of it to balance the budget. Now which is it – will they be constrained by the time limit that ends the 1% sales tax increase – or will they be able to play around with it to pad their insatiable desire for increased taxes?
Our very high vehicle license fee is scheduled to be reduced by nearly half on July 1. Will they be able to add a surcharge to our car tax?
Will they be able to add an online purchase tax, or fire protection fee, that are redundant with state and county taxes?
These tactics clearly illustrate the corruption of California legislators determined to get their paychecks while holding the taxpayers of California hostage. All of these are taxes and fees that require a 2/3 vote, not a majority vote for such costs to be tucked into a questionably balanced budget. Lawsuits requiring a 2/3 vote on taxes and fees may be the only way to stop this blatant money-grab to be struck down.
Even though Governor Brown had 12 days to consider it, he has vetoed the Democrats' budget calling it “legally questionable”. He is taking cover and leaving the decision of whether to pay the legislators up to State Controller John Chiang. Brown still wants his tax increase ballot measure and this is yet another way he can keep working toward it.
Republicans are still holding out for real pension reform and no tax increases. We need to demand an end to endless tax and fee hikes, with a clear message, STOP SPENDING.
Fran Freedle is a former Nevada County Supervisor and the Legislative Chairman for the Nevada County Republican Women Federated.