EAST BAY TIMES: Editorial: Tax Extension Breaks Gov. Brown’s Promise

By: Bay Area News Group

July 28, 2016

“In 2012, when voters approved increasing income taxes on the wealthy and the state sales tax, they were promised the levies would end by 2018.

Proposition 55 on the November ballot breaks that promise. It would extend the income tax portion, not just for another six years but for 12. Voters should reject it.

Rather than plan for the expiring taxes, state lawmakers went on a spending spree. Expansion of health care coverage, school funding and other safety net programs since 2012 added $19 billion to the state’s annual general fund expenditures.” Read the full story…


LOS ANGELES DAILY NEWS: No on Prop. 55; Temporary Taxes Should Stay that Way: Endorsement

By: The Editorial Board

October 10, 2016

“’Nothing is so permanent as a temporary government program,’ economist and Nobel laureate Milton Friedman used to say. We would pose, as a corollary: ‘Nothing is so permanent as a temporary tax increase’ — especially if proponents of Proposition 55 get their way.” Read the full story…



LOS ANGELES TIMES: Editorial Don’t Tie California’s Fate to Wall Street Volatility. Vote No on Proposition 55

By: The Times Editorial Board

October 1, 2016

“California’s finances were in such trouble in the not-too-distant past that by 2009, even many tax-shunning Republican lawmakers were pleading with their constituents to temporarily increase sales, income and vehicle license taxes.

Voters said no repeatedly, until Gov. Jerry Brown offered them this deal in 2012: Take just four years of higher sales taxes, and a mere six years of higher income taxes on the well-to-do, and we’ll finally be out of the structural budget mess that has dogged the state for the better part of two decades. We’ll have the breathing room to plan how we move into the future — perhaps, some advocates said, by redesigning the state’s outdated tax code, which makes California far too subservient to Wall Street and far too dependent on the whims and fortunes of wealthy investors.” Read the full story…



THE SAN DIEGO UNION-TRIBUNE: Prop. 55: The Three Big Reasons to Vote No

By: The San Diego Union-Tribune Editorial Board

September 26, 2016

“Proposition 30 — the successful November 2012 ballot measure authorizing temporary increases in the sales taxes paid by everyone and on the income taxes paid by the very wealthy — was sold to California voters with a cynical tactic. Lawmakers passed a state budget that would only pencil out if the tax hikes were approved. If Proposition 30 failed, there would be a $6 billion hole in the budget. Voters were told this would mean cuts of up to 14 days in the school year. Shades of the 1973 National Lampoon cover showing a dog with a gun to its head and this title: “If You Don’t Buy This Magazine, We’ll Kill This Dog.”

Now, in the same cynical spirit, the same unions behind Proposition 30 are pushing Proposition 55. It would allow the temporary sales tax hike to end on Dec. 31, as originally scheduled, but would push back the expiration of the higher tax rates on the very wealthy from the end of 2018 to the end of 2030.” Read the full story…



THE SAN FRANCISCO CHRONICLE: Chronicle Recommends No on State Prop. 55

September 9, 2016

“The temporary taxes approved by California voters in 2012 worked as advertised. The economy hummed, especially for those in the highest income brackets affected by the increases, and the resulting tax revenue allowed the state to significantly restore funding for education and other priorities that were ravaged by the recession.

Yet in supporting Proposition 30 four years ago, we cautioned that its overreliance on taxes on the highest incomes was not sound long-term fiscal policy for a state whose top-weighted tax structure tended to greatly amplify the peaks and valleys of the economy. We noted that passage of Prop. 30 “would only add to that volatility.” We endorsed it as “a necessary budget patch.” 

It worked. Those income-tax increases, and to a lesser extent a quarter-cent sales tax included in Prop. 30, have been generating between $7 billion and $8 billion a year.

But California’s essential services, most notably education, deserve a more stable funding source to avoid the types of draconian cuts that were inflicted during the recession. The state needs to break this feast-to-famine cycle.” Read the full story…



THE PRESS DEMOCRAT: PD Editorial: No on Prop 55: Don’t Break This Promise

By: The Editorial Board

October 13, 2016

“But here’s the problem. First, it’s disingenuous. The governor sold Proposition 30 as a temporary tax package in order to get fiscal moderates to go along with the idea. Now Brown is sitting on the sidelines as special interests push to extend the tax without the sales tax component and without his support or opposition. 

Second, while a good argument could be made to extend all of the Proposition 30 taxes as a way to maintain and possibly elevate the quality of California schools — especially with the possible approval of the Proposition 51 school bonds — that’s not what this is about. Furthermore, there’s evidence that the state can get by without the funds.” Read the full story…


VENTURA COUNTY STAR: Editorial: Prop. 55 is Bad Tax Policy, Bad Government

October 14, 2016

“Our difficulty with Prop. 55 is threefold: who it targets, the breaking of a government promise and changes in the funding formula.

By continuing to increase the tax rate for wealthy Californians, the state maintains a tax stream that exacerbates an imbalance in our funding structure. We fully believe the wealthy should contribute their fair tax share to society. But we do not believe we can successfully build a sustainable government funding model if it is too reliant on such a small portion of the population. Roughly half of the state’s income tax revenue — the primary source of funding for our state government — comes from the wealthiest 1 percent of the population. 

This is another example of how California continues to use patches to shore up its tax revenue.” Read the full story…