Tell Me Again Why We Need Higher Taxes?

taxesThis November, California voters will face a slew of tax and bond proposals at both the state and local levels. Each of those ballot measures will be supported by the usual pleas from those who benefit from higher taxes – especially well-funded labor organizations.

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Special interests will complain about the “cuts” to vital public programs in education, transportation, health care, etc., that they have suffered in the past. But the problem they have is that they run head long into the facts – facts which show California government is now more flush with cash than at any other time in its more than 160 year history.

The California state budget projects spending of $122.6 billion of general fund dollars which is over 5 percent higher than last year and a stunning 42 percent more than when Brown took office in 2011.

As we get closer to the November election, this column will present a host of reasons why most tax increases should be rejected. We do this in full knowledge that our opponents, with tens of millions of dollars in campaign funds, will drown out any competing messages of fiscal responsibility, protections for homeowners and a healthy economic climate to ensure that California remains competitive for businesses both large and small.

For now, let’s focus on property taxes as that is of special concern to many California voters, especially homeowners. The state controller just announced that property taxes are surging in California – up over $3 billion from the previous year. The long-standing urban myth that Proposition 13 has decimated local governments has, once again, been proven false by the data. In short, California is not a low property tax state. Per capita property tax collections in the Golden State are significantly higher than the national average and that has been true for many years now.

This is just one fact of many that voters should consider when confronted with tax hike proposals on the ballot. And this is especially true when local governments are seeking higher property tax levies in the form of “parcel taxes” – property taxes imposed in excess of Proposition 13’s one percent limit.

There are dozens of other reasons to reject tax increases this November including California’s penchant for pursuing massive boondoggle projects and the fact that most tax increases will not be used for new programs or higher levels of service, but rather to shore up failing pension funds.

It is our hope that Californians will not be swayed by the false claims that higher taxes are necessary. If voters are paying attention at all, they will quickly come to that same conclusion.

Jon Coupal is president of the Howard Jarvis Taxpayers Association — California’s largest grass-roots taxpayer organization dedicated to the protection of Proposition 13 and the advancement of taxpayers’ rights.


  1. First I will look carefully at all local issues that will concern my tax obligation.
    Secondly, state issues will be voted on in opposition to Brown and Newsom. If they support, I oppose, if they oppose, I’ll support.

  2. Well said JimM. I am with you. I will NOT vote for anything that will add more indebtedness to this State so fools like de Leon, Brown and Newsom can spend it on worthless projects like the choo-choo and more global warming/green nonsense

  3. askeptic says

    Just Vote NO!
    And, if you’re a Democrat with multiple registrations, Just Vote NO Again and Again!

  4. The CA Tax hike measures being proposed to CA voters is akin to CalPERS asking us to invest our money…both are ridiculous!

  5. I hope you fight the Santa Clara County VTA sales tax measure. VTA wants to gut North County bus service at the same time that they’re asking voters to approve yet another bump in the sales tax. Santa Clara County residents are already paying three sales taxes to VTA, a permanent 1/2 cent that was approved in 1976, plus the more recent Measures A and B, whose revenues are mostly going down the BART sinkhole. Plus, we’re paying a Vehicle Registration Fee on top of that. Yet this is not enough, they want more tax money to flush down the BART toilet while eliminating local routes.

    VTA is asking the voters for a fourth sales tax increase yet they refuse to “value engineer” their expensive projects. There is no reason that the BART extension needs to duplicate existing bus and train service between the San Jose and Santa Clara stations. And the proposed Bus Rapid Transit could be constructed at lower cost by eliminating the dedicated center lanes and converting the curbside lanes to HOV use during peak hours.

    Money saved from cutting the “gold plating” from big capital projects could be spent on supporting the bus system, including saving routes threatened with elimination under “Network 90.” Until VTA learns to use its existing resources more efficiently, vote NO on more taxes.

  6. Well, they cannot manage the billions we give them so by their logic we have to give them more! That would be politically correct! Whee!!!!

    Google “Two Minute Conservative” for more.

  7. Mike Gould says

    It is getting to the point where the only people that can afford to stay in California are the takers. Welfare for illegals and the people that refuse to work. Liberals have destroyed this great state. It will only get worse.

  8. Randy Townsend says

    The fact property tax revenue is way up is fodder for those seeking to eliminate Prop. 13 – “Just think of how much more needed revenue is available, of all the good we could do for children, the environment, and health care if only we required people to contribute their fair share….” etc. Never underestimate the stupidity and slavish devotion to the leftist ideology of a majority of CA voters.

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