It has been a while since I wrote any real “opinion” Soapbox. I miss the usual comments from Bill Olmo, Mark Soiland, and Marc Winters. So here goes my opinion, and I hope it makes you think, provides some modest entertainment value, and provides some information to digest.
Recently, Governor Newsom revised his 2020-2021 Budget (first proposed in January 2020), and scrolled down income $41.2 billion for the budget period from his initial budget in January 2020. This pegs/assumes the overall California deficit at $54.3 billion. There is a June 15 budget deadline coming fast, and Newsom is contemplating several things to close the gap in his budget between cash in vs cash out.
Some of the major items being considered include major cuts to K-12, higher education, and other popular services. That is on the “expense side”. Lobbyists are working the Sacramento Capitol halls and offices furiously to mitigate some of the cuts being proposed.
What about on the income side? There is lots of talk about “alternate revenue sources”. Hmmm. I wonder what those might be?
One of those alternative revenue sources being considered, is to suspend tax credits on businesses to raise/save $4.4 billion.
Public employee unions want to go to the ballot box in November to pass a new property tax measure increasing the property tax on warehouses, hotels and office buildings. Public employee unions back this bill because it would raise revenue to bolster education funding.
And here is the real question: do concerns about cuts to education and other government funded services outweigh the personal pain the private sector is going through with the Pandemic shutdown and “stuttering” reopening of businesses?
As John Wayne said
“If you’ve got them by the balls their hearts and minds will follow.”
I am not so sure our hearts and minds will follow, but the State certainly has us by the balls. Since the Governor and his majority in Sacto have a super majority, they do not even need to go to the voters to pass a tax increase. What? Is that possible? Feel that squeeze on your balls? Painful huh? All they need to do is get 2/3 majority in Sac City from both houses of the Legislature. And they have the votes. Believe me. The ruling party is firmly in control of your jewels-in more ways than one.
The ”juggling act” is that a slew of new State taxes could jeopardize the “darling” of the SEIU and Public Employee Unions-that Commercial Property Tax increase. That does need to go to the voters. Newsom and the other Legislators know that if they pass a bunch of new tax measures, the voters might actually get fed up and vote “No” on the Commercial Property Tax Measure that would raise an estimated $10 billion plus a year to be used for teachers, admin, schools, and local governments.
Opponents of the Commercial Property tax measure are already stating their opposition to increasing costs to those property owners, who would likely simply pass the added cost on to their tenants-the already severely wounded businesses that have suffered the most from the Pandemic shutdown.
I am continually amazed at the gall of Sacramento politicians and Newsom in particular. While spending continues on the high speed train to nowhere, handouts to undocumented workers (another way to say “illegal immigrants”), and the massive expenditures that the State has “punted” to local governments to deal with “zero bail” prisoner releases as well as providing housing and other services to the exploding “homeless” legions.
Without a doubt, the State of California has a huge hole of deficit to try and backfill. As usual, and as always, the number one solution is to burden businesses that have already been hammered in the last few months. At some point, voters will demand that the State take a “haircut” as most of our businesses have had to do during this crisis. How about laying off and closing down some of the hundreds of bloated State commissions and committees and employees? Would you be willing to pay more in State taxes is you actually saw the State vote to cut their costs by an overall 10-15%? Sure, there would be some pain to the cuts, but the taxpayer would catch a much-needed break.
In November, we all get to go to the ballot box (or mail in your vote, lol), and decide if we want to vote for the accepted solution of State budget crisis that our Legislators and Governor has adopted-to tax you.
If we choose to be taxed, vote for incumbents in California-they will oblige you. If not, there are choices. I am not sure the Republicans are much better (they seem to be adopting the spend freely and tax even more freely solutions), but I for one will be looking for candidates that are trying to give business owners and private sector employees a break. Let’s hope there will be some of those running. Otherwise, I fear the mantra will be “tax the rich, tax the working man, tax everyone” in November.
That’s All Folks,
The Newsflash below was written Thursday morning. Thursday at 12:30-1:30, the ECA/NCBE/SR Metro/Farm Bureau/SCA/and NBLC were in a zoom meeting with Supervisors Rabbitt and Hopkins. They are our friends, they advocate on our behalf, and they are just as frustrated as we all are at the way these Health Orders are being communicated to the businesses. With that said, our group provided input to the Supes about how the new APP requirement below, got rolled out with the wrong messaging and should have been “recommended, rather than required”. The latest bit of news from this meeting came at the end, and we were told the Health Department is going to delay the implementation of this requirement. There is a big closed door meeting on Monday, 6/1/2020 and more will certainly come out of that meeting. For now, YOU DO NOT HAVE TO USE THE APP STARTING ON MONDAY!!!
And now, for my previous, now outdated, missive below–
Just a few days ago, the Sonoma County Health Director, Dr. Mase, instituted a new rule for ALL BUSINESSES and ALL EMPLOYEES in Sonoma County. In addition to the existing protocols that businesses and employees are required to follow, there is now a new App for a Smartphone/tablet/computer that needs to have the employee enter info on each time the employee enters the workplace. The employer, as part of the same APP, needs to document certain information as well. This is not “recommended” but REQUIRED. The App, reportedly, can be downloaded in the Google Store or the Apple Store (although I have been told the App is not yet available from certain folks I have spoken to). This additional requirement is in effect June 1, 2020 and does not supersede or eliminate any requirements that were already in existence. To read the Press Democrat article regarding this APP, click here—