My Turn: Proposition 25 hurts taxpayers
October 18, 2010
TRUCKEE, Calif. and#8212; Taxpayers beware! The politicians are saying that all they are trying to do is eliminate Sacramento gridlock by lowering the vote requirement for the legislature to pass the state budget from two-thirds to a simple majority vote.
In reality, Prop. 25 opens the state checkbook for more spending and more money out of your pocket. Hidden in the fine print is language that would:
and#8226; Allow the state legislature to impose new taxes, fees and charges with a bare majority vote (current state law requires a two-thirds vote for most levies).
and#8226; Eliminate votersand#8217; constitutional right to use the referendum process to repeal hidden taxes and other damaging laws before they take effect.
and#8226; Allow the state legislature to increase its lavish expense accounts with a bare majority vote (current law requires a two-thirds vote).
and#8226; Make it easier to pass budgets that are not really balanced.
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As a sweetener, promoters of Prop. 25 also have included an element that would dock legislatorsand#8217; pay for every day the budget is late. This is a very popular idea with many Californians, who tend to support anything that punishes lawmakers for their incompetence. However, the feature is just a ruse to gain votes. The politician backers of Prop. 25 know they will never have to pay a penalty. The new powers contained in the measure will allow them to steamroll all opposition and quickly pass a budget with additional spending and higher taxes.
Also contained in the fine print of Prop. 25 is language that would allow the politicians to double or even triple their expense accounts. While trying to look like they are getting serious about the state budget, they are seeking to make life easier for themselves.
The government-employee unions sponsoring Prop. 25 hope to make it easier for the politicians to raise taxes to support salaries and benefits packages that are out of reach for most people who work in the private sector.
Here are the specifics on how Prop. 25 – The More Spending/Higher Taxes Measure would harm us taxpayers:
Prop. 25 lowers the threshold for passing a budget from two-thirds to a bare majority vote, which will encourage even more deficit spending like we have all seen these past several years.
Prop 25. allows politicians to circumvent our constitution and pass new taxes with a bare majority vote and include these new taxes in our budget package. Legal experts believe they could use this loophole to raise sales taxes, car taxes, income taxes and energy and gas taxes.
Last year the legislature increased taxes by $1,200, annually, for an average family. Then they tried to get voter approval for an additional $16 billion tax increase, and voters said and#8220;NO to higher taxes.and#8221; The politicians in Sacramento are at it again with Prop. 25.
While voting NO on prop 25, I recommend voting YES on Prop. 26. Proposition 26 closes loopholes in Prop. 13 by requiring that taxes disguised as and#8220;feesand#8221; be approved by the legislature with a two-thirds vote, rather than a simple majority. Defining new taxes as and#8216;feesand#8221; is a scheme long used by lawmakers looking to increase state revenues without complying with Proposition 13and#8217;s mandate that all state taxes receive a two-thirds vote.
This is an extremely important election. Letand#8217;s hope we make informed decisions at the poles on Nov. 2nd.
Don Casler is 39-year Truckee resident living on Donner Lake.