Bills’ supporters say budget shortfalls will hurt economy, lead to crowded schools and disintegration of safety-net
May 10, 2010 (Sacramento) -- Legislators held a State Capitol News Conference to announce the introduction of a package of bills to close “fat cat tax” loopholes.
“California’s hard working families are getting ripped off by corporate tax loopholes,“ said Assemblyman Pedro Nava (D-Santa Barbara). “At a time when classrooms are getting more crowded, when more and more people are losing their health insurance due to unemployment, and numerous programs affecting seniors, and the disabled are facing cuts, we cannot afford these giveaways to big business.”
Nava was joined by Assemblymembers Tom Ammiano (San Francisco), Kevin De León (D-Los Angeles), and Mary Salas (D-San Diego) as well as educators, healthcare providers, nurses, seniors, labor, and environmentalists. He called on the Governor to scrap his budget, which includes only spending cuts, and come back with a new budget that includes revenue increases such as a tax targeting big oil companies.
While average Californians pay their taxes, corporations are avoiding paying more than a billion dollars each year, said Nava. As a result, California’s classrooms are more crowded, police and fire services are being reduced, care for the disabled and elderly is being eliminated, children will be left without health insurance, community clinics and state parks will be closed and college tuition could go up, warned Nava, who is running for Attorney General.
Leaders announced a package of bills that will provide billions of dollars to state and local governments to fund the programs that California’s families and communities depend on.
California News Wire (http://enewschannels.com/2010/05/10/enc11671_193722.php) reported statements by several of these organization’s representatives.
“Seniors have borne the brunt of these draconian budget cuts; we have seen a reduction in adult day health care programs that allow seniors to stay in their homes, the elimination of Alzheimer’s research, and aid to low income seniors has been slashed,” said Gary Passmore of the Congress of California Seniors. “The Fair Share Act will bring much needed revenues to support these essential programs.”
“With $18 billion in cuts to education, this could be an important source of revenue to save important services for our students,” said Jai Sookprasert the tax policy analyst for the California School Employees Association.
“Recent budget cuts are harming nurses’ ability to provide for the critical health needs of people in our state,” said Elizabeth Pataki, RN of the California Nurses Association. “An oil severance tax could provide much needed revenue to help pay for Californians’ healthcare needs.” Nava has proposed a 10% tax on every barrel of oil produced in our state.
Assembly Republican Leader Martin Garrick of Carlsbad issued the following statement in response to the package of Democrat proposals. "Assembly Democrats are proposing to solve the state's unemployment crisis through tax increases...They somehow believe that diverting even more taxpayer dollars into growing government will stimulate our economy. Californians currently face some of the highest taxes in the nation. In spite of California's 12.6% unemployment rate and the fact that employers and whole industries are fleeing the state, legislative Democrats continue to push to raise taxes on job creators in order to maintain and increase state spending."
Republicans have proposed new tax cuts, which they say will stimulate the economy.
The California Democratic Party, meanwhile, just announced a television ad calling on Congress to close a tax loophole that the CDP says "allows billionaires and millionaires to hide their assets in offshore tax havens like the Cayman Islands and Bermuda." The statewide ad urges support for Senate Bill 506, the Stop Tax Haven Abuse Act, authored by Senator Carl Levin (D-MI).
“California is being forced to lay off school teachers, delay critical infrastructure projects, and raise tuition for students while billionaires like Meg Whitman hide their assets overseas,” said John Burton, Chairman of the CDP. “It’s time for Congress to act now and stop the favors for well-connected billionaires and millionaires. Meg Whitman is the perfect poster child for tax haven abuse.”
The Stop Tax Haven Abuse Act would treat foreign companies managed in the U.S. like domestic companies, add restrictions on transactions in countries known for money laundering, and would make it more difficult to avoid taxes by funneling money through foreign corporations. The Act also increases penalties for aiding and abetting the understatement of tax liability.
The ad urges viewers to sign a petition urging Congress to take action and pass the Stop Tax Haven Abuse Act. The petition and the ad are available at: www.stopwallstreetfavors.com http://www.stopwallstreetfavors.com