California

He added up the tax increases California Democrats are proposing. The total? $15 billion

These things would all be taxed if California Democrats have their way

California Democrats have proposed several tax-raising bills to the Legislature. Among the items that could see tax or fee increases include oil and gas drilling, firearms, soda, water meters and tires.
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California Democrats have proposed several tax-raising bills to the Legislature. Among the items that could see tax or fee increases include oil and gas drilling, firearms, soda, water meters and tires.

April 15 has come and gone, but the California Legislature is weighing a number of bills that in the near future could make Tax Day more costly for some.

The Golden State could collect more than $15 billion in new revenue, a combination of new taxes and old exemptions being eliminated, according to an analysis by Loren Kaye, president of the California Foundation for Commerce and Education.

“We’re surprised at the number and size of these tax increase proposals, because the state is awash in money, in revenues,” Kaye said in an interview with the Bee on Friday.

That includes a surplus of more than $13 billion.

Democrats are considering a plethora of tax increase bills this session, including the institution of an estate tax and a corporate income tax increase.

“There seems to be a disconnect between what’s being proposed and the state’s apparent very healthy fiscal position,” he said.

Kaye said California has entered its 10th year of “very robust economic expansion,” but that the good times won’t last forever.

A recession is coming, though Kaye says “I’ve given up estimating when it’s going to be.”

When it does come, “it will make it harder when the businesses have to deal with these taxes. They’re going to cut costs in the most efficient way they can, which usually has to do with jobs, compensation, employment,” he said. “It will be hard for the overall economy to deal with the recession when there’s a bigger bite being taken out of the private sector to begin with.”

So where’s that “bite” coming from? Here’s a rundown on all the tax bills under consideration in Sacramento.

  • Assembly Bill 18 imposes a $25 excise tax on the sales of new firearms, with that money going to crime prevention programs.
  • Assembly Bill 138 imposes a $.02-per-fluid-ounce tax on sugar beverages, such as soda, with that money going into a fund to address obesity and health issues related to high sugar consumption.
  • Assembly Bill 755 increases the California tire fee from $1.75 to $3.25, with that money going to a fund aimed at mitigating zinc pollution in stormwater runoff.
  • Assembly Bill 1468 requires opioid manufacturers to contribute to a collective $100 million annual sum, with that money going to opioid abuse preventation and rehabilitation programs.
  • Senate Bill 37 raises the corporate income tax, with the amount raised based on the difference between the company chief executive officer’s pay and the median employee pay, with that money going to fund the state’s K-12 and preschools.
  • Senate Bill 246 imposes a severance tax on oil and gas producers, with that money going to the state’s general fund.

  • Senate Bill 378 imposes an estate tax on the state’s wealthiest residents, with that money going to a “Children’s Wealth and Opportunity Building Fund.”
  • Senate Bill 468 eliminates various tax exemptions and incentives.

California Democrats have also submitted a number of bills aimed at easing the tax burden for California residents.

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