Under the rules of the California legislature, a bill does not have to pass a committee or even be heard by a committee, in order for it to be passed into law.  All that has to be done is recreate the bill as an “amendment” (same language, slightly different form) and fifteen minutes before the session ends at midnight, the language is introduced amended and the main bill is passed.

The Democrats have introduced more than 110 bills to raise taxes or fees—almost none have come out of Committee.  That does not mean they are dead—just hibernating.  It is imperative that you continue to remind your legislators that tax increases hurts the poor and middle class, while the rich barely notice it.  Why are firms leaving California?  They understand the system and can no longer afford the high taxes—going high—and regulations like AB 32 and SB 375.

The new York Daily News reported on May 17 about cigarette smuggling in that city.  In some areas it is estimated that 80% of the cigarettes sold are smuggled into the city.  Now, per the New York Daily News terrorists are now selling smuggled not taxed cigarettes to finance terrorism.  http://www.nydailynews.com/opinion/snuff-scourge-article-1.1347542

See the full story by clicking on the blue headline

 

Soda, Oil, Tobacco, Shopping Bags, and Adult Entertainment Taxes Still on Sacramento Table

Editorial by Stephen Frank, California Political News and Views,  6/12/13

Are all these tax proposals really dead  for the current legislative year?

At least one of the above may rise again from the dead:  SB 768 (de Leon). Unlike the other bills, SB 768 has an urgency clause, so it can be brought up at any time.  Senator de Leon has promised repeatedly to bring it back as soon as the state budget is finalized.  De Leon Chairs the Senate Appropriations Committee.

California’s electorate has said “no” to similarly worded ballot initiatives twice in the last 10 years. The difference now?  California’s Democratic supermajorities.  Why is he doing it?  Because he can.

Here’s a question Senator de Leon should ask himself: how does he expect to achieve any real advantage when the cost to police the increase in criminal activity and smuggling – along with the job losses this will create – will take away much of the perceived financial benefit?

According to a recent Pew Stateline article “Most of the black market in cigarettes is between low-tax states and high-tax states: Smugglers purchase cigarettes in a low-tax state and transport them to a high-tax state. Then they sell them at a discount to smokers while still pocketing a healthy profit. Because there is such a wide disparity among states’ cigarette taxes, the price differential is well worth the risk of smuggling, according to law enforcement officials.”  And California is one of those “high-tax” states.

And whether or not you like cigarettes or cigarette smokers, fewer cigarettes sold at stores will undercut the income of the businesses around the state that sell and transport this commodity — putting jobs in jeopardy.

As for soda, oil, shopping bags, and adult entertainment taxes, there’s always next year…or the end of session, keep checking back to find out more  go here. With a supermajority, you never know what will happen next.

 

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