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More than $12 billion in temporary tax increases approved to help close a massive gap in last year's state's budget would be repealed immediately under legislation proposed this week.

Assemblyman Ted Gaines' measure, Assembly Bill 1700, may be largely symbolic, however, because the state continues to founder in red ink and the Legislature is dominated by Democrats who supported last year's temporary tax hikes.

AB 1700 would repeal higher sales, vehicle license and personal income taxes approved to end a bitter budget fight in February 2009. The bill also would raise a child dependent exemption credit that was cut last year. All are scheduled to expire by July 1, 2011, but Gaines' bill would hasten the process. Passage would require a two-thirds vote of both legislative houses.

Gaines, R-Roseville, argues that Californians deserve a financial break while trying to weather economic recession. AB 1700 does not indicate how the state would compensate for billions in lost revenue if his bill were signed into law.

"Instead of giving families a break, the Legislature last year made life harder by passing the largest tax increase in state history on the over-burdened taxpayers of our state," Gaines said in a written statement.

"Not only has this caused unnecessary pain for so many Californians, but it has also driven jobs away. Increasing taxes was and is the worst thing for our state, and my legislation will give Californians and our economy the boost they need to get back on track."

Gaines is seeking a second term this year in a district that stretches from Rio Linda to Rocklin to South Lake Tahoe.


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