Posts Tagged ‘CalBallot2010’

Proposition 26: Fees Require 2/3 Vote

Friday, October 29th, 2010

Proposition 26 on the California ballot would require many state and local fees to be approved by a 2/3 vote. Proponents of the measure argue that there are numerous hidden fees (taxes, in their view) that have been approved by the legislature and local governments and treats fees like taxes. Opponents argue that the measure would harm the environment.

The California Supreme Court has ruled that regulatory fees aren’t taxes. They may not be in name, but in effect they are. Still, the legislature does need some flexibility and this would definitely impact that.

No matter where you stand remember to vote on November 2nd.

Proposition 25: Majority Budget Instead of 2/3 Vote

Thursday, October 28th, 2010

Current law requires California to have a two-thirds vote in order to pass a budget. Proposition 25 would eliminate the two-thirds requirement and would allow the budget to be approved by a simple majority vote.

Wow, it seems fair to have the majority rule. Well, that may seem to be the case but the reality in California budgeting is quite different. Democrats in the legislature have proposed massive tax increases in the last several budgets. The only reason those tax increases haven’t taken place is the two-thirds requirement; that requirement forces Democrats to compromise with Republicans in order for a budget to pass.

Shockingly, public employee unions are in favor of Proposition 25. Meanwhile, the Howard Jarvis Taxpayers Association is against the measure. No matter where you stand, remember to vote on November 2nd.

Proposition 24: Business NOLs and Multi-State Taxes

Thursday, October 28th, 2010

Proposition 24 on the California ballot would eliminate the ability of businesses to take Net Operating Losses (NOLs) as federal tax law allows. Additionally, the measure would continue the usage of a three-factor system for taxation of multi-state entities by California.

Under federal tax law, an NOL can be carried back two years or carried forward 20 years. Under California law as it currently exists NOLs cannot be carried back and can only be carried forward 10 years. However, as part of the 2008 budget compromise, beginning in 2010, California law now conforms to federal law. Proposition 24 would revert California law to the old rules. It would also stop a single-factor method of apportioning California sales rather than the current three-factor system.

This may seem like much ado about nothing–it doesn’t directly impact consumers. Well, that’s not really the case because California tax law is so anti-business that anything causes pro-business tax policy should be enshrined into law. That’s not how public employee unions see it (they’re proponents of Proposition 24); they don’t want anything to stop tax revenues. Of course, that’s rather short-sighted: Many businesses have expanded outside of California and/or have moved out-of-state due to California’s business climate.

No matter where you stand on Proposition 24, remember to vote on November 2nd.

Proposition 23: Suspension of AB32 (Global Warming Tax)

Thursday, October 28th, 2010

Back in 2006, the California legislature passed AB32. This measure, which was signed by Governor Schwarzenegger, allows the state to regulate greenhouse gases such as carbon dioxide (CO2). The goal of AB32 is to reduce such gas emissions by 2020.

AB32 is a huge job-killer. It’s a huge boon for regulators and a disaster for California taxpayers. Proposition 23 on the ballot would suspend AB32 until unemployment in California was 5.5% (or less).

Whether global warming is a reality or not continues to be debated. Whether AB32 would change anything is fairly clear, though. California is not the world, and if the world continues to emit CO2 the state can’t wall itself off into its own atmosphere.

I agree with opponents of Proposition 23 that the measure would hurt California’s alternative energy industries. Of course, opponents don’t tell you that (a) Proposition 23 would save far more jobs in other industries; (b) alternative energy industries either need heavy subsidies or heavy taxes on other sources of energy to be competitive; and (c) AB32 being implemented will harm California’s competitiveness.

Remember to vote on November 2nd.

Proposition 22: Transportation Funding

Wednesday, October 27th, 2010

Proposition 22 on the California ballot would prohibit the raiding of transportation funding for anything. The measure, if approved, would stop the practice of the legislature of using transportation funds (including the gasoline tax) to fund anything and everything else.

Not surprisingly, the Chamber of Commerce and California cities are generally for the measure while public employee unions oppose the measure. Cities are especially annoyed with the legislature’s annual raiding of local funding.

No matter where you stand on the measure, remember to vote on November 2nd.

Proposition 21: State Parks Vehicle License Surcharge

Wednesday, October 27th, 2010

Proposition 21 on the California ballot would add an $18 fee (err, tax) to vehicle license renewals to fund state parks. Shockingly, the California State Park Rangers Association is for the measure. The measure would help to fund the park system. As for boosting California’s economy (a claim of proponents), it would take money away from consumers. That’s a tax, and that does anything but help the economy. Well, it would help the economic situation of those employed at state parks….

No matter how you feel about the measure, remember to vote on November 2nd.

Proposition 20: Congressional Redistricting & Proposition 27

Tuesday, October 26th, 2010

Proposition 20 on the California ballot would take redistricting of Congressional districts out of the hands of the state legislature and give it to the Redistricting Commission. That commission was formed as a result of Proposition 11 on the 2008 ballot; Proposition 11 took redistricting of the state legislature away from the state legislature.

Proponents of the measure argue that it will help to create fair districts. Opponents argue that Proposition 27 is the better measure and Proposition 20 would waste money.

Proposition 27 would eliminate the Redistricting Commission; essentially, it would reverse the passage of Proposition 11. That would continue the system used in 2000 that gave California zero competitive districts: Every district was gerrymandered. It’s worked quite well to help our legislature be, well, partisan.

I think you can guess how I’ll be voting on these measures. It’s interesting to see that the Sierra Club is against Proposition 20 while the AARP and the NAACP are for it.

Proposition 19: Marijuana “Legalization”

Tuesday, October 26th, 2010

It’s time to begin our analysis of the ballot propositions that Californians will face in one week. There’s a lot on the ballot, and several of the measures have a direct impact on taxes.

Let’s start with Proposition 19. This measure would legalize marijuana under California law. However, the measure has no impact on federal law…and marijuana use and cultivation would still be illegal under federal law. While proponents argue the measure would cause huge new tax sources, the reality is that unless and until the federal government legalizes marijuana, this ballot measure would have little or no impact. Indeed, it’s become clear that should the measure pass the US Department of Justice would likely sue California to stop the implementation of the law.

This measure does unite Democrats and Republicans; both candidates for state Attorney General, Kamala Harris (D) and Steve Cooley (R), oppose the measure. So does Senator Dianne Feinstein.

No matter where you stand on this measure remember to vote on November 2nd.