California Governor Jerry Brown is annoyed at Republicans who have blocked his plan for massive tax hikes to balance the budget. In response, the governor plans to take his case straight to the voters.
Please consider Brown Plans California Drive to Keep Taxes as New Cuts Loom
Brown Wants Massive Tax Hikes
"California Governor Jerry Brown said he’ll propose a new budget next month and plans to campaign in Republican districts to win support for a statewide referendum to retain $9.3 billion of higher taxes and fees," reports Bloomberg.
"Rather than continuing to negotiate with Senate Republican Leader Bob Dutton on a bi-partisan budget with long- term solutions, Governor Brown is going on a dog-and-pony show to sell voters on short-term gimmicks and $50 billion in tax increases,” said Jann Taber, a Dutton spokeswoman.
The governor wants voters to:
- Extend a 0.25 percentage-point increase in personal income-tax rates
- Boost retail sales taxes by 1 percentage-point
- Boost auto-registration fees by 0.5 percentage point to 1.15 percent of a vehicle’s value
- Reduction the state’s annual child tax credit to $99 from $309
The only one of those that is remotely reasonable is number 4. However, in return for number 4, Republicans should ask for passage of right-to-work laws.
Expect Biggest Fear-Mongering Campaign in History
Every public union in the state will throw money at Brown's effort in what will likely be the biggest public union fear-mongering campaign the world has ever seen.
Republicans should preemptively counter with their own statewide referendums to ...
- Eliminate prevailing wage laws
- Enact right-to-work laws
- End defined benefit plans for public workers
- Reduce sales taxes 1 percentage point
- Reduce state income taxes .50 percentage points
If Brown Wants Referendums, Give Him a Handful
Items 1, 2 and 3 would engage public unions on multiple fronts as well as siphon union ad money from fear-mongering tax hike campaigns.
Besides, you never know. Voters are fed up with tax hikes and public union extravagance. Some of those proposals might pass.
There is one sure way to find out: If governor Brown wants referendums, give him a handful.