Nothing cheers up an old tax-and-spend liberal than word that two major new sources of state revenue -- enough to begin closing the gap in education funding -- are at least on the table in Sacramento.
At the state Democratic Convention April 13, delegates approved a resolution calling for a split-roll property-tax system, removing commercial property from the protection of Prop. 13. There's a group called Evolve working on this statewide, and Assemblymember Tom Ammiano has a bill that would end a loophole that allows corporations to buy and sell property without reassessment.
And now there's also a campaign gearing up to establish an oil severance tax -- something that every other oil-producing state already has. As oil and gas companies try to create a new oil rush in California, fracking their way to billions, the public ought to get a little something. After all, the oil below the ground belongs, in a sense, to all of us, not just to the companies that can stick a pipe into it.
Meanwhile, organized labor is attacking the Enterprise Zone Tax Credit, which is basically a corporate giveaway.
Not all of this is going to happen this year. Even with the overwhelming Democratic majorities in both houses, tax reform is tough; there are armies of lobbyists who will fight it all the way. And any ballot measure would need serious deep-pocket funding, since the California Chamber of Commerce, the real-estate industry and Big Oil would pour tens of millions in to defeating it.
Still: You have to start somewhere, and five years ago, none of this would have even been under discussion. So maybe there's hope for California after all.
Most Commented On
- Do you want your Ex back after a divorce - April 16, 2014
- READ THE BILL. - April 16, 2014
- No, they can't. If I was - April 16, 2014
- Economic reform is about money printing, not dispatchers - April 16, 2014
- I think you're - April 16, 2014
- Yes, anyone who files an Ellis 30/90 days after the effective - April 16, 2014
- Yes, after a while as a landlord, you develop a sixth sense of - April 16, 2014
- Of course, why do some tenants think that they have a lifetime - April 16, 2014
- LOL, Benito has had 37 years of stupid cheap rent and now you - April 16, 2014
- Maybe there are bad LL's, but so what? - April 16, 2014