As your elected taxpayer advocate, I'm fighting to make sure all Californians are treated fairly and to promote tax policies that help grow our economy. I'm always willing to hear your ideas on how we can work together to solve the toughest problems facing our state.
BOE Adopts New Reforms
A recent audit report by the Department of Finance highlighted some problems at the Board of Equalization when it comes to board member and agency practices.
In light of these issues, the Board voted at its April Board Meeting to adopt new policies that establish stricter protocols regarding member education and outreach.
The policy changes include creating a more robust clearance process for outreach activities, requiring Board review for certain events, and imposing a moratorium on major conferences until a new outreach plan has been adopted by the full Board. The Board also directed the development of memorandums of understanding for loaned staff.
For the next Board meeting agenda, I will include empowering the executive director to hire all executives (CEAs), with the exception of the chief counsel and future executive directors.
These reforms are vital steps towards remedying issues identified in the audit and reassuring taxpayers of our commitment to running an efficient and responsive agency.
Californians Already Pay a Premium for Roads
Liberal lawmakers recently jammed a $52 billion gas tax hike (SB-1) through the state Legislature. Now, the bill awaits Governor Brown’s signature.
There are those who claim that there isn’t enough money to fix our roads without raising taxes. I disagree and explain why in an article I wrote for the Sacramento Bee showing just how much transportation taxes and fees Californians already pay.
John and Ken
of KFI radio in Los Angeles had me on their radio show to talk about how this huge gas tax increase will undoubtedly impact low-income Californians who must travel farther distances to work.
It gets worse. The 12 cent increase will become a 19.5 cent increase in 2019. Plus the costs of Air Resources Board actions like cap and trade and the low carbon fuel standard will also impose significant new costs on motorists.
Calculated annually by the Tax Foundation, Tax Freedom Day is the day when Americans have earned enough money to pay their taxes at the federal, state and local levels.
Nationally, Tax Freedom Day landed on April 23, but for California it lands on May 1.
For some, this terrible distinction seems to be a badge of honor. With liberal politicians recently voting to increase gas and car taxes, I fear this day will come even later next year for hardworking taxpayers.
According to the Tax Foundation, Americans will pay $3.5 trillion in federal taxes and $1.6 trillion in state and local taxes, for a total tax bill of $5.1 trillion, or 31 percent of national income. That's more than Americans will collectively spend on food, clothing and housing combined.
Compared to other states, California's Tax Freedom Day is one of the latest in the nation. Only Massachusetts, New York, New Jersey and Connecticut have later dates.
Take a look at this
satirical video that shows how politicians pressure Californians into raising taxes.
If you find the video funny—even if it’s sadly true—please share it with your friends and family! Tax Tip
Q: I just purchased a new home. How does Proposition 13, an initiative limiting increases to property taxes, apply to me?
A: Before Proposition 13, property taxes were based on market value every year, leading to uncertainty and instability for homeowners.
Under existing law, property values are not allowed to rise more than two percent per year unless the property was sold, had previously been temporarily reduced to market value, or had new construction. As a homeowner, you are protected by this law.
For more information about Prop. 13 and other tax exemptions available to homeowners, please visit boe.ca.gov/homeowners or contact my office at 916-445-2181. GR in the News