Entries by Jon Coupal

State Budget Could Be Capped by “Gann Limit,” Preventing New Taxes

Editor’s Note: For a summary of how state legislators may be prevented by law from increasing taxes any further, this article by Jon Coupal is as good as any. In a nutshell, Prop. 4 (the “Gann Limit”), passed in 1979, then modified by Prop. 111, passed in 1990, limits increases in state and […] Continue […]

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Public Sector Pay Continues to Increase Thanks to Union Power

Editor’s Note:  Back in the early years of the 21st century, when California’s tech sector had collapsed and the stock market was down sharply, local government budgets were so strapped that they started closing their offices on Fridays, and applied “furloughs” to their employees to save money. But no public worker took an actual pay […]

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A King’s Ransom for ‘Public Servants’?

Editor’s note: During 2015 the average pay and benefits for a full time state worker in California was $104,867. County workers averaged $108,856, and city workers averaged $121,430. These averages do NOT include members of public safety. The 2015 average pay and benefits for full time state highway patrol and corrections employees was $136,828, for county […]

Productive Californians Migrating Overwhelmingly to Red States

Human beings prefer freedom to collectivism and tyranny. Only those in complete denial disregard the negative consequences of policies that suppress liberty. Consider North Korea versus South Korea. And recall that in Berlin during the Cold War era, people weren’t shot trying to go from West to East – not that anyone tried anyway. Finally, […]

Debt Addicts Spend Big Opposing Prop. 53

The usual suspects are digging deep into their pockets to make sure that California’s borrowing binge remains unchecked. Contractors, unions and bond houses that benefit from state debt are contributing millions to defeat Proposition 53, the Stop Blank Checks initiative. This straightforward proposal simply requires voter approval of state issued construction bonds larger than $2 […]

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Proposition 13 Is Safe — For Another Few Weeks

The Legislature is in adjournment, and with lawmakers at home campaigning for reelection, they are unable to engage in their favorite pastime of undermining Proposition 13 and its protections for California taxpayers. However, this time out is only a brief respite from the Sacramento politicians’ inexorable pursuit of taxpayers’ wallets, the ferocity of which matches […]

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Down Ballot Measures Could Cost You Big Bucks

Election month is rapidly approaching. That’s right, “election month” because, since 2002, California voters have been freed from casting ballots in person on the official Election Day, which this year is November 8. Voting by mail begins October 10. Polls show that many voters are disenchanted with the coming election because the major candidates for […]

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Teachers Union Hits Taxpayers with ‘Money Club’ Again

The California Teachers Association has just dropped $10 million into its campaign to extend the “temporary” income tax hike voters approved when they passed Proposition 30 in 2012. Proposition 55, which will appear on this November’s ballot, would extend the highest income tax rates in all 50 states for another dozen years. Four years ago, […]

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Budget Deception: Weird Accounting Diminishes Accountability

This week, after reaching agreement with Governor Brown, the California Legislature will pass the state budget for the 2016-17 fiscal year. In so doing, it will meet its Constitutional deadline of June 15th. A few weeks ago, this column attempted to provide some clarity to ordinary citizen taxpayers on basic state budget issues. This included […]

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High Costs of Pro-Union Agreements & Policies Negates Transportation Tax

According to my father, in the 1950s and ’60s, California had the best transportation agency in the entire world. But all that changed with the election of a new, anti-growth, small-is-beautiful governor by the name of Jerry Brown. Now, fast forward 40 years. Governor Brown, version 2.0, proposes a budget that assumes a big increase […]

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Funding Pensions for Unionized Government Workers – It’s Never Enough

Editor’s Note:  Here’s another government pension horror story coming from Chicago. If you think it can’t happen here, think again. California’s political system, state and local, is just as dominated by government unions as Illinois. At least in Illinois, Governor Rauner is using every legal and political weapon he can possibly muster to fight these unions. […]

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Government Union’s New Taxes on Working Californians Stopped in Legislature – For Now

It’s been a long year in the Capitol for those of us who advocate against higher taxes, crushing regulations and wasteful government spending. The good news is that California taxpayers have prevailed in virtually all the major tax fights this year. The bad news is that, because the legislature convenes for two-year sessions, this is […]

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Government Union Assault on Taxpayers Continues in California

Editor’s Note:  This article discusses multiple proposals to raise taxes that are making the rounds in California’s government union controlled state legislature. Two in particular are mentioned, Senate Constitutional Amendment 5 that takes Prop 13 protections away from business owners, and Assembly Constitutional Amendment 4 that lowers the two-thirds vote requirement for local tax increases. On top […]

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Unionized Government Means Higher Taxes and Less Transparency

​Especially in California, the word “taxpayer” is frequently preceded by the word “beleaguered.” Given our large tax burden and the tragic level of government waste, perhaps there should be a grammatical rule that these two words must always be combined. While some California taxes are hidden, most are unfortunately and painfully obvious. But the same […]

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