Sep 29 2010

Three California Propositions Tackle Taxes

Feature Stories | Published 29 Sep 2010, 10:11 am | Comments Off on Three California Propositions Tackle Taxes -

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tax loopholesTaxes are always a hot topic, spurring heated debates and even the up-start TEA party. Three tax related propositions will be on California’s ballot in November: Propositions 21, 24, and 26. Prop 24, called the Tax Fairness Act, targets three recently enacted corporate tax loopholes. In 2008 and 2009 the California legislature approved 1.3 billion dollars in tax cuts that benefit less than 2% of California’s businesses. One tax cut gave businesses more flexibility in how they calculated their tax rate. Another allowed more opportunities to claim a tax refund from previous years based on the losses of the current year. And the third allowed different companies operating under the same management to share tax credits. Prop. 24 supporters say the corporations that benefit from these tax cuts laid-off 100,000 employees in 2009 while paying their CEO’s a combined $8.5 billion. These same businesses have also spent hundreds of thousands of dollars to defeat Prop 24.

The NO on 26 campaign says that measure, dubbed “Stop Hidden Taxes,” is backed by the oil, alcohol, and tobacco industries. Prop. 26 would change California’s constitution, redefining regulatory fees – like those imposed on major polluters – as taxes. If 26 passes a 2/3 vote of the legislature would be required to approve any new taxes that were once considered fees. The No on 26 campaign says approval by super-majority is nearly impossible to achieve, and these fees are currently used to fund environmental clean-up efforts, and programs that address the negative effects of tobacco and alcohol use, among other things.

Finally, Proposition 21, the third initiative on taxes, would increase vehicle licensing fees by $18 to fund state parks.

GUEST: Lenny Goldberg, Executive Director of California Tax Reform Association

Find out more online at

Lenny Goldberg recommends the following websites:

For Prop. 24:
For Prop. 26:

All propositions and candidates can be found online at

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