It’s a victory worth celebrating. In the last 15 years, I don’t remember a Republican not selling out to a bad budget. This time the stakes were higher — new taxes and fees or a vote to place them on the ballot. But because this was one of the few issues that require a two-thirds vote — and thus conservatives could win — SaveCalifornia.com and many pro-family Californians went to war several months ago with the goal to “hold the Republicans.” And with the help of people who care, we achieved our goal.
Because no Republican state legislators ended up voting for a so-called “tax bridge” or taxes on the ballot, there are no direct tax increases in the just-approved Democrat state budget. Be glad that the 2009 tax increases will expire. This Friday, July 1, your California sales tax will drop a full percentage point and your car tax (Vehicle License Fee) will be nearly cut in half. Combined with the Dec. 31, 2010 expiration of the two other 2009 tax hikes (0.25% state income tax hike and slashing $200 per child or adult from the state dependent tax credit), this package of four expired tax hikes could save you nearly $1,000 per year.
So be glad! These expiring tax hikes are tax cuts that will help families and the economy. Thank you to everyone who participated with SaveCalifornia.com to help lobby Republicans to not provide bad votes to achieve a 2/3rds supermajority to raise taxes. And tell your local retailers, because some don’t know and may charge you the old, higher sales tax (which the Democrat politicians won’t mind at all). Here’s what you should be paying on Friday.
The new state budget is a bad government doing bad to the economy
This so-called “austerity budget,” signifying drastic cuts to public services, was quickly passed by the Democrat politicians Tuesday night on a majority vote. They like it because passing a budget means state legislators start getting paid again. But we get bad government from the Democrats because they refused to cut the structural waste and are cutting services instead.
For example, 70 parks will be closed. This “public punishment” demonstrates the vise grip that the government unions and the resulting entrenched bureaucracy have on California state government. Instead of demanding efficiency and frugality and wisdom and an end to disgusting waste, fraud, inefficiency, duplication, and harmful social programs, the Democrat politicians have loyally refused to bite the hand that feeds them and gets them reelected each year. (Most of the campaign contributions to Democrat politicians are from wealthy government unions).
So instead, services will be cut. This is a spirit of stealing and taking away what you already paid for. Cutting legitimate services will hurt the economy too. Lesson: In order to slash the structural waste, you need conservative Republicans to be in control of both houses of the Legislature and the Governor’s office. They haven’t been in charge of all three “houses” for more than 40 years!
This pro-abortion budget also contains fee hikes (hidden taxes)
Containing nearly $100 million in abortion funding and funding for abortion-related procedures, the Democrats’ new budget imposes three kinds of fee (hidden tax) hikes: $150 per household fee in CalFire-served areas (which is already covered by property taxes); a $12 vehicle license fee (car tax) hike; and imposing for the first time ever a sales tax on all online purchases, the so-called “Amazon tax.” As a result of Jerry Brown already signing the “Amazon tax,” Amazon.com is cutting their 10,000+ California affiliates. So Brown and the Democrats have hurt or eliminated some 10,000 businesses already.
I hope there are lawsuits to strike down the unjust CalFire fee and vehicle license fee under Prop. 26, which passed last year. There might be and should be. Prop. 26 requires a 2/3rds vote on general fees, which is what they two fee hikes are. The Democrat politicians are trying to skirt Prop. 26 by turning as many general fees as they can into specific “user fees,” which are exempt from Prop. 26. They shouldn’t be allowed to get away with this thievery and deceptively violating the California Constitution.
Look at the issue of fire protection, which you are already paying for through your property taxes and state taxes. If the Democrats can impose a $150 per year surcharge if you live in a CalFire zone, what’s to stop them or local governments from deciding that every Californian’s city or county fire or police protection is a “user fee,” no longer regarded a general public service?
And what about the vehicle license fee hike? All the legislative history reveals the Democrats did this to soak up more revenues for the general budget. This is in no way a “user fee” exempt from Prop. 26.
As for requiring you to pay sales tax on all online purchases, that’s a tax hike. But Prop. 13 in 1978 put in the California Constitution a prohibition of tax hikes without a 2/3rds vote of the Legislature. The Howard Jarvis Taxpayers Association needs to sue. The good news is they’re considering doing that for two of these three hidden taxes.
Stay in the battle
So please, stay in the battle to fight for financial freedom and against anti-family socialism in California. We have two strong constitutional amendments, Prop. 13 and Prop. 26, on our side, as well as the two-thirds vote threshold for direct tax increases. When things get tough, may those who are faithful and courageous reveal their character and perseverance, for the love of God and the love of their children and grandchildren.
If you know how to spend less than you get, you have the philosopher’s stone.
Benjamin Franklin, American founding father, statesman, inventor, author (1706-1790)