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An Open Letter to the California Legislature: Oppose Attempts to Raise Taxes Again!

May 17, 2013

Dear Legislator:

On behalf of the 52,000-plus members of National Taxpayers Union in California, I urge you to oppose any efforts to further raise taxes on individuals, families and businesses in the state. Given the recent passage of the massive $6.2 billion tax hike, this is a particularly bad time to once again worsen California’s tax burden on its citizens.

Specifically, I ask you to oppose SB 768, a proposed $1.4 billion tobacco tax hike; SB 241, a $2 billion tax increase on oil severance; SB 700, a new 5-cent tax on carry-out and grocery bags; and SB 622, a $1.7 billion tax hike on “sugary” sodas. Increasing taxes on products like cigarettes, soda and grocery bags would be highly regressive and place disproportionately large financial burdens on families already struggling in this difficult economy. Further, a tax of this magnitude would push sales to neighboring states with significantly lower tax rates.

California is already plagued with one of the most noxious business tax climates in the country – according to the Tax Foundation, only two states are ranked worse than the Golden State on this index. The effects of these high taxes and restrictive regulations are significant and troubling. The state experienced a net loss of $31.8 billion in wealth from 1995 to 2010. New York is the only state in the nation that witnessed a larger loss. Additionally, California’s unemployment rate of 9.4 percent is far higher than the national average of 7.5 percent. More tax hikes would only exacerbate these woes.

Once again, I urge you to oppose any attempts to make taxes even heavier on Californians and to vote against SB 768, SB 241, SB 700, and SB 622.

Brandon Arnold
Vice President of Government Affairs