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Interesting Taxing Authority Proposal

May 21, 2011

Darrell Steinberg wants to introduce a bill that would allow local communities to increase taxes by small amounts, say on things like: liquor, cigarettes, soda, or other items.  This is interesting because the taxes wouldn’t be coming from Sacramento, in a sense, they would be self-imposed.  I could see how if you have a concerned community you could use this route to raise revenue, but, I could also see how wealthy communities would allow for more taxes therefore keeping a much higher level of services than poor communities.

“Sacramento — A pot tax for police? How about sin taxes for schools?

California lawmakers are tip-toeing toward giving cities, counties and school districts broad new authority to ask voters those questions.

But whether Democrats will move forward on the proposal or try to use it as leverage to force a statewide vote on tax extensions proposed by Gov. Jerry Brownremains to be seen.

Senate President Darrell Steinberg, a Sacramento Democrat and arguably the Capitol’s second most powerful voice, is the driving force behind expanding what’s known as local option taxes.

 Under his Senate Bill 653, local governments and schools could chose from a smorgasbord of levies to raise money for local services and classrooms. The taxes could be as narrow as new charges on medical marijuana stores, sweetened beverages and alcohol or as broad as a local personal income tax and fees on extracting oil. Amounts would be capped at various levels depending on the tax.”

One thing to me seems certain, it is that we have ideologues in Sacramento who block everything even remotely sensible when it comes to raising revenue.  As a teacher and as a citizen this is highly disturbing.  California already has one of the lowest ratios of tax money allocated per student and we have the highest ratio of students per teacher in our classrooms.  This is a travesty for a state where there is such enormous wealth.


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