Your legislature was able to do some positive work for the taxpayers this session. For starters a number of tax hike proposals were blocked, including $1 billion in new gas taxes, $2 billion from a $65 per-vehicle `highway-user fee’ and $1.8 billion from new taxes on managed health care plans.
Thankfully, attempts to use our transportation and healthcare needs as an excuse for unnecessary tax increases failed. This year’s budget was the largest in history, with over $7 billion in additional revenues. There was no need to increase taxes or raise fees to pay for core government responsibilities.
In other good news, provisions mandating a 50-percent cut in gasoline use over the next 15 years were deleted from SB 350. We all support clean air and water, but issuing decrees from Sacramento, driving business away and raising costs is not the solution. Obviously, taxes and restrictions of this type fall hardest on working Californians who can least afford them.
I am pleased to report these proposals failed after an outpouring of faxes, emails and phone calls from concerned citizens. Republicans were joined by moderate, pro-business Democrats to block counterproductive regulations and tax increases.
We stood up for the innovation economy by promoting plans to give job opportunities to the most Californians and supported an earned income tax credit to allow hard-working citizens to keep more of their money.
Our future well being depends on a vibrant, growing economy. Continuing the bi-partisan cooperation we saw this year will keep higher taxes and growth inhibiting restrictions from getting in the way.