As your elected taxpayer advocate, I'm fighting to make sure all Californians are treated fairly and to promote tax policies that help grow our economy. I'm always willing to hear your ideas on how we can work together to solve the toughest problems facing our state.
BOE Adopts New Reforms
A recent audit report by the Department of Finance highlighted some problems at the Board of Equalization when it comes to board member and agency practices.
In light of these issues, the Board voted at its April Board Meeting to adopt new policies that establish stricter protocols regarding member education and outreach.
The policy changes include creating a more robust clearance process for outreach activities, requiring Board review for certain events, and imposing a moratorium on major conferences until a new outreach plan has been adopted by the full Board. The Board also directed the development of memorandums of understanding for loaned staff.
For the next Board meeting agenda, I will include empowering the executive director to hire all executives (CEAs), with the exception of the chief counsel and future executive directors.
These reforms are vital steps towards remedying issues identified in the audit and reassuring taxpayers of our commitment to running an efficient and responsive agency.
Californians Already Pay a Premium for Roads
Liberal lawmakers recently jammed a $52 billion gas tax hike (SB-1) through the state Legislature. Now, the bill awaits Governor Brown’s signature.
There are those who claim that there isn’t enough money to fix our roads without raising taxes. I disagree and explain why in an article I wrote for the Sacramento Bee showing just how much transportation taxes and fees Californians already pay.
John and Ken of KFI radio in Los Angeles had me on their radio show to talk about how this huge gas tax increase will undoubtedly impact low-income Californians who must travel farther distances to work.
It gets worse. The 12 cent increase will become a 19.5 cent increase in 2019. Plus the costs of Air Resources Board actions like cap and trade and the low carbon fuel standard will also impose significant new costs on motorists.
The Governor plans to sign the bill, but you can still let him know your thoughts.