A change in the governor’s office and expanded Democratic supermajorities in the Legislature have emboldened long-frustrated advocates of increasing taxes to expand health, welfare and education services.
The California Tax Foundation calculates that bills already introduced this year would raise Californians’ taxes by $6.2 billion a year with others to come.
Gov. Gavin Newsom is clearly not tax-averse, since he’s proposed a new tax on water to finance improvements to substandard local water systems and an indirect tax on corporations, via partial conformity with federal tax law changes, that would finance a $1 billion expansion of the state’s “earned income tax credit” for low-income working families.
While wrangling over taxes heats up in the Capitol, the same dynamics are playing out in dozens of California cities, counties and school districts.
The last couple of election cycles have seen hundreds of local tax measures placed before voters, and more are on the way.
The conflicts over those local taxes are increasing in intensity, as a situation in Los Angeles illustrates.
The financially strapped Los Angeles Unified School District (LAUSD) is seeking voter approval in June of an unusual form of “parcel tax” on property, hoping to raise as much as a half-billion dollars a year.
Parcel taxes typically levy a fixed dollar amount on each parcel of land, regardless of value. LAUSD proposes, however, to tax property 16 cents a square foot and it has drawn strong opposition from the local business community.
The jousting over LAUSD’s Proposition EE turned nasty last week. Tracy Hernandez, chief executive of the Los Angeles County Business Federation, alleged that Measure EE campaign manager Rick Jacobs told her that federation members who campaigned against the measure would be frozen out of dealings with the City of Los Angeles, whose mayor, Eric Garcetti, is backing the tax.
Jacobs, a long-time Garcetti advisor, denied Hernandez’s account …read more
Source:: The Mercury News – Politics