R Street's Steven Greenhut reports on a recent California legislative proposal for CalWatchDog.com:
In his veto message of a series of tax-reduction bills last September, Gov. Jerry Brown explained that “tax breaks are the same as new spending – they both cost the general fund money.” He said such measures should be on the table during budget negotiations, “so that all spending proposals are weighed against each other at the same time.”
The Common Cents Tax Reform Act, Assembly Bill 479, would “exempt diapers, tampons, pads and other basic necessities from California’s sales tax,” according to a statement last week from its authors. The February version of the bill would have exempted sales taxes from the sale, storage and use of various physician-prescribed medicines, but was amended to target diapers and feminine products.
To deal with the governor’s concerns, its co-authors (Assembly members Cristina Garcia, D-Bell Gardens, and Lorena Gonzalez Fletcher, D-San Diego) want to raise taxes to offset the tax cut. The bill would increase the excise tax by $1.20 per gallon on hard liquor that is 100 proof and and by $2.40 a gallon for liquors that are more than 100 proof.