Prop. 26 repeals new fuel laws
Harms environment says opponents; eliminates taxes disguised as fees, adds supporters
Proposition 26 proposes that state laws which result in any taxpayers paying higher taxes must require approval by two-thirds of the state Legislature or by local voters instead of a simple majority in the Legislature.
This law would repeal the recent fuel tax laws and increase state general fund costs by about $1 billion annually, according to the legislative analysts’ estimate.
Currently there are a myriad of oil recycling fees, hazardous materials fees and fees on alcohol retailers. Businesses that pay these fees are actually paying for toxic waste site clean-ups, inspections of used oil recycling facilities and used oil collection.
Those who oppose Proposition 26—including the League of Women Voters, the American Lung Association and Sierra Club California—insist that polluters are the only ones who will be protected, if the proposition passes.
Other entities urging a no vote on the proposition include the Committee to Protect the Political Rights of Minorities, and the California State NAACP.
“Pollution fees on public nuisances would be become much harder to enact,” they write in the voters guide. “Companies that pollute, harm the public health, or create a public nuisance should be required to pay to cover the damage they cause.”
“The problem isn’t taxes ‘hidden’ as fees; it’s the oil and tobacco companies hiding their true motives,” the argument against Proposition 26 says, adding that if passed the initiative will harm local public safety and health, by requiring expensive litigation and endless elections in order for local government to provide basic services like fighting air pollution, cleaning up environmental disasters and monitoring hazardous waste.
Those who want to see Proposition 26 pass include the Howard Jarvis Taxpayers Association, Occidental Petroleum, Chevron, The California Taxpayers Association, and the California Chamber of Commerce.
In their argument in favor of the proposition, they write, “Local politicians play tricks on voters by disguising taxes as ‘fees’ so they don’t have to ask voters for approval.”
The Los Angeles Area Chamber of Commerce, which represents large, medium and small businesses in five Southern California counties, also supports the measure, writing in its guide that “The State Legislature seeks to increase taxes by calling them “fees” which only requires a simple majority.”
The California Taxpayers Association insists that Proposition 26 will close a loophole and plainly define what a tax is and what a fee is.
“The state can still raise, as needed, the fees charged hunters and fishers to cover the costs of wildlife management, users of state parks to cover the costs of maintenance and upkeep, and drivers for processing licenses and vehicle plates,” they write on their website.
“But state and local agencies will no longer be able to charge exorbitant fees that are far and above the cost of the activity at hand, and then funnel that money into their general funds or for other purposes. That’s the sort of deceptive behavior Proposition 26 will end.”
LOS ANGELES, Calif. — Southern California, including the Inland Empire, continues to have the nation’s worst air pollution and ranks fourth in short-term particle pollution and annual particle pollution, the American Lung Association said today.
The Los Angeles Urban League Young Professionals group joined forces last weekend with Raquel Beltran of the League of Women Voters (pictured above) and S.C.O.P.E. (Strategic Concepts in Organizing and Policy Education) to present an educational forum on the pros and cons of the propositions that will appear on the Nov. 6 ballot.
Assemblyman Mike Davis and KJLH’s Adai Lamar will be among those participating in a proposition forum and barbecue sponsored by Los Angeles Urban League Young Professionals, in association with S.C.O.P.E. and the League of Women Voters, on Saturday, Oct. 27. The public is urged to attend discussion on the important propositions that will appear on the Nov. 6 ballot.
The event with be held at S.C.O.P.E. headquarters at 1715 W. Florence Ave., Los Angeles.
Sacramento, CA – SB 596, which permits reformatting and consolidation of closely-related current notices required under the California Insurance Code to permit reduction in mailings and paper usage was signed into law by Governor Jerry Brown on Tuesday.
Authored by Senator Curren D. Price, Jr., the bill will streamline several consumer notices, thereby reducing customer confusion and providing easier access to relevant information.
LOS ANGELES, Calif.—Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa is expected to use a speech at the Sacramento Press Club today to recommend changes to Proposition 13, the 1978 ballot initiative that placed strict limits on property taxes.
Villaraigosa declined Monday to give any details about the speech, other than to say, “I’m going to address more than just Prop. 13,” specifically citing funding for elementary and secondary schools and the state’s universities and colleges.