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Lone Bay Area Republican opposes Dem’s tax plan

By Lisa Vorderbrueggen
Thursday, July 10th, 2008 at 9:38 am in California budget, California Legislature.

Assemblyman Guy Houston of San Ramon, the only Bay Area Republican in the state Legislature, issued a statement late last night outlining his opposition to the Democratic leadership’s proposal to boost taxes to help solve the state’s yawning budget deficit.

Click here to read Houston’s press release.

“California already has one of the highest tax rates in the nation and now the Democrats want to make them even higher,” Houston said in his release. “We must leave within our means. A budget deficit that is the result of the irresponsible pace of our government’s growth should not be balanced on the backs of the hardworking Californians.”

Houston’s position is consistent with his Republican colleagues who view the proposed $9.7 billion in tax hikes on the state’s most wealthy residents as untenable and unlikely to materialize in the current weakened economy. (Of course, Republicans oppose tax hikes in a strong economy, too.)

Click here to read the Democrat’s budget proposal on Senate President Pro Tem Don Perata’s web site.

California is one of a handful of states that require a two-thirds vote to approve a budget and raise taxes, which gives Republicans considerable veto power despite their minority status in Sacramento.

That means the stalemate could drag out for weeks or months as legislators haggle over how to solve the state’s $15.7 billion budget deficit. Both sides are firmly dug into their positions but that could change in September when the state runs out of money to pay its bills and starts issuing IOUs. Yeah, the grocery stores love those state IOUs.

Read more for Houston’s full press release.

MEDIA RELEASE

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE Contact: Keith Ochwat

Wednesday, July 9, 2008 (916) 319-2015

ASSEMBLYMAN GUY HOUSTON REACTS TO DEMOCRAT PLAN TO RAISE TAXES $9.7 BILLION

Proposal creates new income tax brackets for families and increases taxes on businesses

(Sacramento) – Yesterday, the California State Senate revised the 2008-09 State Budget to include $9.7 Billion in higher taxes. Assemblyman Guy Houston (R-San Ramon) issued the following statement in reaction:


The proposal includes $5.6 Billion in new income tax revenue, $1.1 Billion will come from eliminating deductions for research conducted by businesses, $215 Million by reducing the dependent-care credit for families with income of $150,000 or more, and $815 Million from not adjusting current tax brackets for inflation-potentially hitting hardest taxpayers with joint incomes of $97,000 or more.

“Raising taxes is going hurt the economy, and the citizens of this state,” said Houston. “We need to make difficult decisions this year, not harm Californians by squeezing another $10 billion out of them.”

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  • John W.

    And Guy’s spending reduction proposal is ????

    What a mess! Where are Kevin Kline and Charles Grodin (“Dave”) when we need them?

    To be bipartisan about this, as tax plans go, the Democrats’ hodgepodge of tax increases couldn’t be more poorly designed if they tried.

    A basic problem in CA state finance is over-reliance on notoriously volatile income tax revenue from high rollers, especially in a tough economy. So, what is the centerpiece of the Democrats’ plan? Two new top brackets. My guess is this won’t generate anywhere near the projected incremental revenue, because people will shuffle their finances to minimize exposure to the new brackets. A dependable tax plan (predictable revenue) would be one that is broadly based (affects everyone) and is difficult to avoid. Taxes that meet these criteria (and meet the fairness test too) would include the vehicle registration fee and capping the mortgage interest deduction. Yeah, I know. Easy for me to say, since I’m not running for office.

  • http://CCTimes hpocriticalyes?

    Won’t it be wonderful when November gets here and this unethical person is gone for good.

  • Troublemaker

    hpocriticalyes? Says:
    July 10th, 2008 at 2:32 pm
    “Won’t it be wonderful when November gets here and this unethical person is gone for good.”

    Yep can’t wait, but I think he won’t be “gone for good” until December! The June primary really exposed him for who he is. He lost more than an election.

  • Renegade GOP

    How you can say Guy Houston is unethical is bizarre. You must be drinking some bad Kool aid in the heat

    Don’t you worry he will be back better than ever.

  • Troublemaker

    Renegade, you must know that even his own supporters referred to him after the election as a scumbag. His media release (and your post) are nothing more than perfect examples of what he tried during his poorly run campaign and we witnessed how that worked out. Do you have any “kool-aid” induced excuses to cover that?

    John W. above summed it up well. Houston is always first in line to point out a problem without offering a viable solution. He believes it makes him appear like he is actually doing something. This is just more recycled Houston rhetoric. On top of it, the guy has major ethical issues or have you not been paying attention?

    Wake up and stop drinking the kool aid, that is the first step.

  • Hilltopper

    It’s sad that Houston and the other Republicans keep trying to starve the state government until it is helpless to function. That was the national plan and we saw what our levies looked like in New Orleans. Now, here in California, our roads are falling apart, our parks nearly closed, and the firefighters cannot keep up, as they are too few and have too few resources.

    Come on. Tax the yachts.

    John McCain Opposed Health Insurance For Children