Phil Matier: California May Lift Limits On Local Tax Increases

SACRAMENTO (KCBS) – A bill making its way through the state Senate would let counties and school districts put local tax measures up for a popular vote.

The legislation approved Wednesday by the Senate’s Governance and Finance Committee allows local governments to propose a variety of temporary taxes to fund education and public safety.

KCBS and Chronicle Insider Phil Matier says lawmakers see local income taxes, vehicle license fee surcharges, alcohol and cigarette taxes, even oil extraction taxes, as an end run around legislative gridlock.

“The idea is if the state won’t pony up, especially Republicans won’t come to the table and put those taxes on the ballot, then we’ll create this patchwork all through the state,” Matier said.

KCBS And Chronicle Insider Phil Matier:

Even if the law clears both houses, the failure of several East Bay parcel taxes in a mail-in special election this week shows that voters may not always be willing to tax themselves for a good cause.

Voters generally support school district parcel taxes, though the two-thirds majority required to enact them makes the campaigns expensive and uncertain.

Local tax measures could face similarly costly campaigns.

Matier said the Democrats’ goal with the legislation is to send a clear message that tax measures the GOP refuses to consider in Sacramento could instead be fought in battles big and small all over the state.

(Copyright 2011 by CBS San Francisco. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)

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  • mechanic

    STOP IT. STOP IT NOW! No New Taxes means just what we say! The voters are finally waking up to the fact that they have been royally hosed for the past 50 years; and they’re fed up with all the waste.

  • Machined

    the whole “no new taxes” mantra that has permeated the state is what’s keeping our state from succeeding. It’s utterly selfish and eventually self defeating as our schools suffer, our roads deteriorate and the divide between the haves and have nots gets even bigger. There needs to be a spot in the middle where we can agree on cutting wasteful government spending while at least raising enough revenue to meat our state’s obligations to our future citizens

  • mechanic

    There are no “Have-Nots” in this welfare State of Kilifornia, for pete’s sake! Everyone, working, or not, get a piece of the pie or a ride on the Gravy Train.
    You bleeding-heart Liberals are all the same. The majority of “citizens” here are not sharing your 50-year old “keep the poor people down and dumb” philosophy anymore. LBJ ‘s War on Poverty was the biggest scam (and still is) perpetrated on the American public. It has been the main reason for the years of Democrat voting and control in the “welfare state”. Grow up and take responsibility for yourselves, or quit complaining!

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