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This legislative session was a disaster for California taxpayers

By in Press Enterprise on November 1, 2017

By Jay Obernolte

It has been said that, “No man’s life, liberty or property are safe while the legislature is in session.” That observation was especially applicable to the 2017 session of the California state Legislature. Middle-class taxpayers in California were hit with more tax increases than any year since 1935; the Legislature reduced penalties on criminals, endangering public safety; and few reforms were made to reduce waste, fraud and abuse in our state government.

In April, taxpayers were burdened with the largest gas tax increase in state history when the Legislature passed Senate Bill 1, which takes effect this November. Once the tax is fully implemented, it will increase gasoline taxes by 12 cents per gallon, increase taxes on diesel fuel by 20 cents per gallon, increase vehicle registration fees by between $25 and $175 per year, and add a new $100 fee on all electric vehicles. These new taxes represent a $5.2 billion annual tax increase on Californians. Unbelievably, 30 percent of the new funding is being diverted to projects that have nothing to do with roads. And fewer than 5 percent of the funds can be used for constructing new highway lane miles, which means this tax does nothing to solve our traffic gridlock.

Unfortunately, the Legislature did not stop there. In September, SB2 was passed, which imposes a $75 recording “fee” on real-estate related documents such as deeds and notices. These fees and taxes are extremely regressive and will drive up the cost of living in California. Our state already leads the nation in poverty, and these policies clearly hurt middle- and lower-income Californians.

The Legislature also passed several bills that make our communities less safe. Take for example Assembly Bill 1448, which allows prisoners who are 60 years of age or older and have served 25 years of continuous incarceration to […]    

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