Assmblyman Henry Perea (D-Fresno) wants to renew Assembly Bill 8 for passage, a piece of legislation which narrowly failed the last time Sacramento politicians considered it. Now Perea is attempting to push the same bill again, one which contains little good, but a lot of bad: another tax increase on California voters. Normally, the number "8" signals new beginnings, but in this case, Assembly Bill 8 is just the same old "Sacramento Shuffle" of bringing forth a bill that looks good on the outside, but on the inside hides a nasty set of higher taxes waiting to be sprung upon us.
This report follows from a column just published by Jon Coupal, the president of Howard Jarvis Taxpayers Association, who has just "outed" the Central Valley lawmaker's legislation, which is mixed with little good and mostly bad.
The good parts:
AB 8 would remove some of the most outlandish and counterproductive regulations on the diesel trucking industry.
The Diesel trucks that move our goods from "ship to shop" are critical to our state's economy. Would it not be more effective if Assemblyman Perea enacted legislation that would end California's captious "Cap and Trade" program? Electricity rates are going up all over the state, and the same legislation has fueled the massive movement of businesses out of the state.
Now the bad parts (as if the previous element was any good at all):
The bill would increase or extend $2.3 billion of fees on car owners until 2023. These include smog abatement fees, air quality management district fees, vehicle and boat registration fees and new tire fees. Cumulatively, the impact to citizen taxpayers will be at least $20 per vehicle annually.
The legislature already held a gun to voter that if they did not get more money, then Sacramento would have to enact steeper cuts. Thus were the voters coerced into passing Proposition 30, which raised income taxes on the "wealthiest among us" and a sales tax, too. Already Sacramento legislators are turfing these monies toward shoring up the lagging and damning pension obligations weighing on this state. Sacramento politicians have no right nor business asking, or rather demanding, more money from the drivers of automobiles or the drivers of the state's economy. I already pay more money just to change my tires, including environmental disposal fees. Assemblyman Perea should start driving me to work if he wants to make the privilege of driving a car so expensive.
As if Perea has so easily forgotten, State Senator Ted Lieu (D-Torrance) already backed away from tripling the state's car tax, most likely because his own wife took him to task for suggesting the outlandish increase. In order to get more perspective on how crippling this tax already is, consider the following. My father owns a large pick-up truck, big and black and bulky. He also pays a hefty car tax: $500 per year. With Lieu's projected increase, he would have had to pay $1,500. He receives an adequate pension after putting in twenty-six admirable years for the Torrance Water Department. He played by the rules. He paid all his taxes. He does not deserve to be punished with paying more taxes just because Sacramento lawmakers refuse to balance their books.
My father, like a growing number of Californians, is leaving the state because of the high taxes and outrageous regulations. His new home: Oregon, where he will pay a paltry $85 car tax, which will cover him for two years. Does Perea really believe that raising taxes will raise revenues? In reality, raising taxes is leading residents to raise their stakes and move out.
Assemblyman Perea and his Democratic colleagues are responsible for this rising exodus of California residents. Don't they care enough about their jobs that they want someone to stay residing in the state of California? Even liberal-progressives who insist on expanding the government ought to realize that more government means fewer residents means less to manage.
I wonder if Assemblyman even drives a car. Perhaps he should give up his state-bought wheels before he starts rolling over us with more taxes. He probably does own a car, a vehicle which taxpayers are already paying for. A number of legislators were even exposed for getting expensive detail jobs on state-owned cars before purchasing them.
Nothing less than fiscal prudence and limiting government spending must be in order in our state capital. No one should assume that Governor Brown has solved this state's budget woes, nor should any lawmaker take away from his sometime good news that the state legislature can now return to its spend-thrift ways. If legislators in ultra-liberal Massachusetts have already discussed raising the voting threshold for raising taxes while cutting other levies, then California legislators are all the more without excuse for their tandem train-wreck of tax measures, including the no longer hidden Assembly Bill 8.
Whether you are a homemaker or a homeowner, do not let Assemblyman Perea feel at home raising your taxes. Call Assemblyman Perea and tell him in no uncertain terms:
Read My Lips, Henry Perea: No New Car Taxes!
Sacramento Office: (916) 319-2031
Fresno Office: (559) 445-5532