Attention-grabbing headline about Prop 13 does not reflect reality

By Joel Fox | “Voters May Reconsider Prop 13,” reads part of the headline on the press release about the new Hoover Institution Golden State Poll. However, read the poll and you’ll see we are nowhere near a Proposition 13 revolution.

The headline is based on a test of the “split roll” approach to property taxes in which commercial property would be assessed more frequently than residential property. When 1700 California adults were asked if they supported the split roll, 39% strongly or somewhat supported the concept, 33% strongly or somewhat opposed the idea.

Joel FoxMost political observers will tell you if an issue doesn’t garner around 60% in early polling it has little chance of passing especially when facing the gauntlet of a political campaign. The Hoover Institution’s finding of 39% means proponents of a split roll campaign have a huge mountain to climb—and they would be climbing it with opposition boulders rolling down the mountain at them.

A multi-million dollar opposition campaign would raise arguments those who responded to the poll were not advised of before replying to the poll question.

The idea that taxes levied on business would not somehow be passed on to consumers or would reduce jobs and effect the economy was not stated.

The information supplied to respondents argued that passing a split roll would lessen the need for more taxes on individuals, hardly a convincing argument when tax hungry lawmakers have their hands out on both the state and local levels.

Stating that business would pay more taxes and individuals would not—in other words, voters were asked if they were willing to raise taxes on someone else– is an argument that has proved effective in recent state tax increase campaigns. Yet, the split roll question still got only 39% support in the poll.

Looking closer at the results, those strongly supporting the split roll concept stood at 13%, strongly opposed was a larger 20%. There is room to move voters who were unsure or did not have strong convictions on the issue.

In an article in Hoover’s Eureka publication that accompanied the poll, it was argued that a key to reformers winning the day is to convince renters to support the split roll and vote. But a lot of that strategy would depend on how apartments are treated under a split roll tax. Are they residential property that will continue under Prop 13 protections or are they commercial property, which under a split roll would be reassessed every year with the tax increase passed on to tenants?

I suppose if you raise most issues you would find about a third of the voters willing to consider change. In fact, a Reuters/Ipsos poll a few months ago found one out of three Californians supported the Golden State seceding from the Union.

Neither a Calexit nor a Prop 13 revolution is close to reality.

[Cross-posted from Fox & Hounds.]


Posted in Joel Kotkin, Prop. 13, Taxes | Leave a comment

Update on the Newman recall; John and Ken will broadcast live again locally on June 13

Yesterday on their talk show on KFI radio, John and Ken got an update from KOGO radio talk host Carl DeMaio on the status of the signature drive to recall State Senator Josh Newman:

John and Ken will be in the area again gathering signatures and collecting completed petitions on Tuesday, June 13, at the Ayres Hotel in Orange. They will be broadcasting live in the parking lot from 2-6:00 pm.

Josh NewmanThe Ayres Hotel is at 200 N. The City Drive in the city of Orange, right off of the 5 Freeway.

Signature gatherers will be there to collect signatures from voters who live in Josh Newman’s 29th State Senate District and also to hand out petitions. The 29th District includes the following cities:

  • Anaheim
  • Brea
  • Buena Park
  • Chino Hills
  • City of Industry
  • Cypress
  • Diamond Bar
  • Fullerton
  • La Palma
  • Placentia
  • Rowland Heights
  • Stanton
  • Walnut
  • La Habra
  • West Covina
  • Yorba Linda
Posted in 29th State Senate District, Carl DeMaio, Jon and Ken Show / KFI Radio, Josh Newman, Taxes | Leave a comment

The story behind the passage of the gas tax increase

A closer look at the wheeling and dealing behind the passage of SB 1 — the gas tax increase — courtesy of Capitol Television News Service:

Posted in 29th State Senate District, Josh Newman, Taxes | Leave a comment

Report: Single-payer health care in California would cost double state budget

By Steven Greenhut | During the California Democratic Party convention in Sacramento last weekend, the spiciest news was outgoing chairman John Burton dropping an f-bomb on a group of activists demanding that the party embrace a single-payer health system. It’s not really news when the notoriously foul-mouthed Burton says such things, but the fracas highlighted the pressure party leadership faces to embrace government-run medical care.

Yet the foulest rebuke to advocates for single payer this week did not take place at the convention. It took place nearby at the state Capitol, in the form of an appropriations committee report that found that a single-payer bill working its way through the state Senate would cost more than double the state’s total budget.

Steven GreenhutSenate Bill 562, which had previously passed the Senate health committee, was placed in the “suspense file” by the appropriations committee on Monday as legislators analyze the huge price tag. They have until the end of the week to move it out of the file, or it will die this year.

The committee made clear the size of the undertaking: “The fiscal estimates below are subject to enormous uncertainty,” it explained. “Completely rebuilding the California health care system from a multi-payer system into a single payer, fee-for-service system would be an unprecedented change in a large health care market.”

The appropriations analysts estimate an annual cost of $400 billion a year, which soars above the projected $180 billion state budget. Of that cost, the committee explained, about half of it would be covered by existing federal, state and local health care funding. That leaves a $200-billion hole, which the committee says could be covered by a 15 percent payroll tax. Even if the calculation includes reduced health care spending by employers and employees, the committee still estimates a $50-billion to $100-billion shortfall.

Read the entire article on CalWatchdog . . .


Posted in Health Care costs, Steve Greenhut | Leave a comment

Tomorrow night is Mayor Whitaker’s monthly ‘Talk Around Town’ at 6:30 pm

It will be at Laguna Lake Park. The email message announcing the event suggests that participants wear comfortable shoes, so we suspect that walking may be involved. If you aren’t familiar with Laguna Lake, click here or on the map below to get directions:

Laguna Lake Park

NOTE: Beginning this month, Mayor Whitaker will be holding his monthly “Talk Around Town” events on the fourth Tuesday of the month.



Posted in Bruce Whitaker, Talk Around Town | Comments Off

Forget filling potholes — pensions are about to absorb all available city funds

CITY COUNCIL TAKE NOTE: Fullerton’s budget process hasn’t yet been completed and already the numbers are most likely obsolete. This editorial was published today in one of the state’s best pro-pension-reform newspapers, the East Bay Times:

More pension rate hikes needed at CalPERS

There’s more bad news to come from CalPERS, the nation’s largest pension plan.

In December, the board of the California Public Employees’ Retirement System approved phase-in of a rate increase for the state and local government agencies that provide most of its funding.

But it won’t be enough to shore up the ailing system. That’s why next month the board will begin a review process that’s likely to lead to approval as early as December of another increase.

That’s right. Even as the state and local governments across California struggle to figure out how they’re going to cut services and reduce staffing to pay for the first round of increases, they’re likely to face another one.

Read the entire editorial in the East Bay Times . . .


Posted in City Budget, Pensions | 1 Comment

If taxpayers are ‘cheap’ it’s because they aren’t stupid

By Jon Coupal | California’s already overburdened taxpayers are, once again, being blamed for being the problem, now that Gov. Jerry Brown has labeled those who object to his new $5.2 billion gas and car tax as “freeloaders.”

Jon CoupalTaxpayers have become accustomed to being insulted by those who want more of their money. A few years back, Barbara Kerr, then-president of the California Teachers Association, said taxpayers who opposed new taxes were “cheap.” This was the same view echoed by high-tech billionaires who financed the successful effort to make it easier to impose new property taxes to pay for school bonds. (It should be noted that billionaires are often insensitive to new taxes that mean little to them, but which can require a significant sacrifice to average California families.)

Californians are already struggling with a heavy tax burden. We rank first in state sales tax and marginal income tax rates and, when adding in the carbon tax, our gas tax is already the highest — and it is about to go much higher. Even with Proposition 13, the per capita property tax burden in the state ranks in the top 20.

Read the entire column in the Orange County Register . . .

Posted in Howard Jarvis Taxpayers Association, Jerry Brown, Jon Coupal, Taxes | Leave a comment

The latest on the Josh Newman recall effort from John and Ken

An excerpt from John and Ken’s talk show yesterday on KFI Radio:

Posted in 29th State Senate District, Carl DeMaio, Jon and Ken Show / KFI Radio, Josh Newman, Recall | 1 Comment

Measuring the backlash against the gas tax increase

By Joel Fox | How hot is the anger over the gas tax increase?

It may be a bit early to measure in full the backlash on the gas tax increase since the tax won’t be collected until November. Even then the size of the increase may be muted some since in California gas prices tend to drop a bit when the winter fuel blends are manufactured and the demand for gasoline for summer driving drops off. In other words, the price of gas will drop about the time the tax is added.

However, there are signs that a protest against the recently passed gas tax and vehicle fee has staying power.

Joel FoxSources say that polling shows opposition to the gas tax increase and strong support for the potential recall effort against freshman Sen. Josh Newman. The Orange County Democrat was targeted because he holds a swing seat and removing him from office with a Republican successor would reduce the Democratic majority to below two-thirds of the Senate, the magic number needed to pass taxes.

The pro-recall group is said to be successful raising funds for the recall attempt and the Howard Jarvis Taxpayers Association has set up a committee in support of the effort. Significantly, Governor Jerry Brown said he would help raise funds to defend Sen. Newman. Democrats understand there is heat over this issue.

As I reported earlier, a Democratic senate staffer told me many angry phone calls came into the district office after the tax was passed.

In fact, after the gas tax vote Democrats made sure that discipline was meted out to keep members in line on future votes when the one Assembly Democrat, Rudy Salas and the one Senate Democrat, Steve Glazer, were removed from committee chairmanships after voting against the tax and vehicle fees.

Ironically, Senate President Pro Tem Kevin de León in accepting Glazer’s “resignation” praised him as “a man of integrity” for taking that step. Didn’t Glazer really show integrity by bucking the demands of party leaders and siding with his constituents whom Glazer said opposed the tax increases?

The idea of enforcing party discipline is not new, of course. But the prospects of a tax backlash brewing in the home of the modern day tax revolt cannot be ignored. Indeed, the Associated Press coverage of Glazer’s firing—excuse me, “resignation”—was picked up by the US News nationally, and oddly, even the Wichita (Kansas) Eagle newspaper.

If the backlash grows it could affect future lawmaking. While removing the gas tax by initiative (one has been filed by Assemblyman Travis Allen) will be a steep climb, a severe reaction against the gas tax would give legislators pause when considering many of the other tax increase measures that are circulating under the capitol dome.

[Cross-posted with permission from Fox & Hounds.]


Posted in 29th State Senate District, Howard Jarvis Taxpayers Association, Joel Fox, Josh Newman, Recall | Leave a comment

Fullerton City Hall is closed today for another three-day weekend

City Hall Closure Dates

January – 1*, 2*, 13, 27
February – 10, 20*, 24
March – 10, 24
April – 7, 21
May – 5, 19, 29*
June – 2, 16, 30
July – 4*, 14, 28
August – 11, 25
September – 4*, 8, 22
October – 6, 20
November – 3, 10*, 17, 23*, 24*
December – 1, 15, 25*, 26*, 31*

*Holiday observed

Posted in City Hall closure dates | Leave a comment