California has a giant surplus—of ideas for new taxes. What’s up with that?

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California is enjoying a projected $21.4 billion surplus. Three-quarters of the state believes any new revenue increase should be for voters to decide.

By population and percentage of personal income, this state already has the nation’s 10th highest tax burden. And the leader of the California Senate, Pro Tem Toni Atkins, has pointedly cautioned against any more levies that take cash out of the pockets of working families.

In short, California lawmakers needn’t look far for an excuse to avoid raising taxes. Whether Atkins’ fellow Democrats got the memo, however, isn’t clear.

Proposals this legislative cycle alone have included—so far—a soda tax to fight obesity, a tire change tax for stormwater cleanup and a drinking water tax to clean up toxic wells. Also a firearms excise tax, an oil and gas severance tax, and a fee on dialysis centers. Also an increase in lead-acid battery fees

There is, to be sure, some high-profile tax relief in this year’s record 2,628-piece pile of proposed legislation: Diaperstampons, and pot have all been put forward for potential tax cuts.

Here are some tax proposals from legislative Democrats this cycle.
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Read the rest of the story on CalMatters


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