By Jon Coupal | “There are better things ahead than any we leave behind,” wrote author C.S. Lewis, one of the many thoughts about how a New Year brings hope. As great as Lewis was, he wasn’t a California taxpayer in 2019.
Although it is true that most of us benefit from public services — at least in theory — too much of government today is about those who absorb taxpayer dollars for their own benefit versus those who are net tax payers. On the freedom side of the ledger are citizen taxpayers, property owners, business interests (at least those not invested in big public contracts) and other interests who believe that the best thing government can do for them is to leave them alone. For them, 2019 portends to be a rough year.
First, California’s incoming governor, Gavin Newsom, has already signaled that he will be far more willing to launch big new government programs. On the campaign trail, he promised both universal preschool and universal healthcare. Unfortunately, both would be universally expensive, costing in the tens of billions of dollars. As hard as it may be to imagine, taxpayers may soon be pining for the relatively more frugal Jerry Brown who, despite the Moonbeam image, managed to act as a bit of a deterrent to the unrestrained animal spirits in the California Legislature.
And speaking of the California Legislature, mere hours into the first session of the newly elected body, Assembly Constitutional Amendment 1 (ACA 1) was introduced. If approved by voters, it would lead to billions in higher taxes. It does this by reducing the existing constitutional requirement for a two-thirds vote for local special taxes and local bonds to 55 percent, a threshold that virtually guarantees that all such proposals will pass.
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