You couldn’t put together a more unsavory group—from a public health point of view—than the corporate sponsors of Proposition 26. The oil lobby (Chevron and Occidental Petroleum); the tobacco industry (Philip Morris); the booze lobby (Anheuser-Busch and Miller-Coors); and the high fructose heavyweight at the soft drink lobby (American Beverage Association) have all joined together under the leadership of the California Chamber of Commerce to sponsor this amendment to the California Constitution entitled: (the) “Supermajority Vote to Pass New Taxes and Fees Act”.
Their concern for us little guys is soooo touching. I mean, really, who isn’t being crushed financially by “the hidden taxes on products and services that Californians use every day”?
What? You don’t know what these “hidden taxes” are? How else you think the “tax-grabbing politicians who want taxpayers to bail them out for poorly managed budgets and long histories of overspending” get their funding? I know you thought that the fees tobacco companies pay for educational efforts about the evil weed were being used for smoking abatement programs, but, according this group, you are wrong. I know that you thought hazardous material fees that go to clean up toxic waste sites were a good and necessary thing, but, according to this group, you are wrong. Oil spill clean-up fees are “hidden taxes”. Making a developer pay for the cost of infrastructure to support new housing tracts, “hidden taxes” again.
You see, these fees are actually “hidden taxes”. Only the legislature doesn’t have to call them “taxes” since a lead paint maker lost a 1997 California Supreme Court ruling that such fees are permissible, and aren’t taxes, because they raise revenue to deal with the effects of a particular industry. Aficionados of lead paint chips are still in mourning over that decision.
Proposition 26 will “protect” us little guys by requiring a 2/3 vote of the legislature to enact new fees or alter current ones. And, oh yeah, it’ll increase California’s deficit by $1 billion annually.
That kind of protection I can do without. Vote NO on Proposition 26.