Sunday, November 23, 2008

Triple the vehicle license fees! Why not CUT COSTS?

Budget deal would include steeper car fees
Reporting from Sacramento -- State lawmakers began moving toward a deal this week to close California's deficit with the help of steeper car fees that would cost many drivers hundreds of dollars annually, according to people involved in budget talks.

Under the plan, GOP lawmakers -- most of whom have signed anti-tax pledges -- would vote to triple the vehicle license fee that owners pay when they register their cars every year in exchange for a ballot measure that would impose rigid limits on future state spending. Motorists' annual license fees would rise from 0.65% of the value of their vehicles to 2%. For a car or truck valued at $25,000, the increase would be $336.

The higher fees would generate $6 billion annually, helping to fill a budget gap that is projected to reach nearly $28 billion over the next year and a half.

The proposal is being championed by incoming state Senate leader Darrell Steinberg (D-Sacramento). Democrats and advocates for the poor have opposed strict state spending limits, saying they would cripple government services...

Some analysts say that in the current economic climate, the plan could be an unwise gamble for Democrats. Voters, they say, may be inclined to approve the kind of spending restraints that GOP lawmakers have long sought. The Republicans' proposed cap would limit growth in government to a modest percentage each year, regardless of how well the economy does and how much revenue flows into the state....

The plan could deal another blow to the automobile industry. It would add hundreds of dollars to the price of most new cars sold in California at a time when sales are plummeting, dealerships are closing and major American automakers are on the verge of bankruptcy.

But a fee increase has long been supported by Democrats in the Legislature; they say the current rate of 0.65% was never meant to be permanent....

⦁ Patterico Is Arnold Risking a Recall?
⦁ Malkin Obama backs off tax increases; Schwarzenegger mulls tripling car taxes, raising pet taxes, and more


  1. They should have went forward with the registration hike years ago, just before Arnold took Davis's seat. Our schools would be in much better shape.

  2. Ahh, then you believe they would have been more frugal if only they'd had more money?

    No. We're where we are because every step of the way, the legislature has refused to cut spending.

    They have increased entitlements, they have robbed from the counties, and continued their mad spending spree.

    When the State was flush and money was coming in, they did nothing to prepare for the rainy day, which is now upon us.

    It may now be that those who fought cuts will end up with zero. there will be some poetic justice in that.

    In the meantime, businesses flee California because of excessive fees and taxes and an onerous business climate.

    The only thing saving us so far is that California is so big that even those who don't want to do business here must.

  3. What programs would you cut Rose?

  4. Why, none of them, of course! They are all so vital and important, the only solution is to print money. We're past the point of borrowing our way out.

    In fact it's time for a massive new spending spree to boost revenues, dontcha think?

    And we'll just raise income taxes, bed taxes, sin taxes, sales taxes, property taxes, death taxes, capital gains taxes and fees to cover it all.

    How's that for a plan?

  5. I'm not trying to ask a loaded question Rose, I was just curious what you would choose to cut based on your solution to simply cut spending.

  6. Honestly, I don't know. I suppose the easy answer is to cut across the board, 10%, 20%, whatever it takes.

    But that's a cop out.

    It's a multi-faceted answer that has to include living within your means, just as families must, it has to stop the partisan fighting, budgets delayed because one side doesn't want to give in - but above all, the legislature has to sit down, and not get up, until they have identified the basic essentials, made sure they are fully funded, and then eliminate the unnecessary add ons until the budget is not only balanced, but they are putting away money for disasters and rainy days.

    I don't have the answers, but there are people who do - and your legislators SHOULD (ours don't, I am convinced.)

    McClintock would have made a better governor than Schwarzenegger. He wasn't "electable" because he wasn't flamboyant and charismatic. But he was and is sharp.

    In some ways, it will be a moot point, decisions will be made for them - the financial crisis has erased vast amounts of wealth.

    I find it all very depressing. there is no white knight on the horizon to save us.

  7. Across the board cuts is much too simple a solution in my mind. Some programs would be able to make do, some would lose all effectiveness. Seems to me that if we want these programs, then we have to pay for them. Period. Some serious editing needs to be done in Sacramento, but the end result will still be a large deficit. An automobile tax makes sense to me because it affects everyone rather than just singling out one group, like say homeowners, etc. It could also get people to try public transportation for a change.

  8. The thing is, as Rose alluded to, the legislature has had all the money they needed and then some before. That was back during the dotcom boom. They spent all of that, and more.

    To suggest if we just raise taxes (and, yes, even make some supposed cuts) will solve the problem is naive. Any tax increases will be permanent tax increases and, as they raise spending even more, we'll be back in the same hole.

    Keep in mind that the most recently passed budget is something like 3 billion dollars larger than last year's. Still, we're being told everybody's facing severe budget cuts.

    It's almost an unsolvable problem with a legislature that regularly calls spending increases "cuts"( because the spending increases aren't as big as some would like) and an electorate that, despite knowing we're facing heavy debt, keep passing bond issues each election putting the state deeper in debt.

    The situation seems almost hopeless to me.

  9. I agree, Fred.

    You could raise taxes to 100% and they would spend it all and want more.

    The practice of calling less-than-hoped-for increases cuts has been used very effectively by lobbying groups, and the asleep-at-the-wheel public has been fooled every time.

    As a result, decisions now will be made in crisis mode when none of this needed to happen.

    We have been badly failed by our elected officials, and the system that allows them to NOT do their jobs, that encourages them to keep spending to buy votes.

    And the people like anonymous above, who say we should be willing to pay are USUALLY people who don't pay. It's a nice thought, but just like the family who buys the biggest house, the most expensive cars, the newest gadgets,whole housefuls of furniture on credit - sooner or later it all comes crashing down.

    Yes, we should be willing to pay for that maserati - maybe we ARE even willing to pay for it - but can we afford the insurance?

    What would YOU cut?

  10. I'd cut transportation spending. Let the roads have potholes- Caltrans is very inefficient in my mind.

    Cut the tax breaks for big business. They will eventually move away anyway because the labor costs in California will never be able to compete with 3rd world countries.

  11. Prison guards pensions

  12. humboldt heretic11/24/2008 11:07 AM

    A good start would be reducing ALL the salaries of state bureaucrats and politicians.

    "An analysis of state payroll data shows the average base pay last year for a guard [i.e. turnkey] was $57,000.
    The [state's] contract [with the guards union] also allows prisons to draw on a pool of reserve guards when a regular correctional officer calls in sick. These fill-in employees, however, can decline an assignment by saying they're sick and receive a full day's pay."

    Some of these prison guards' salaries ($187,000.00) which do not include fringe benefits are approaching the Marxist Messiah's definition of "wealthy".

  13. I remember that Governor Schwarzenegger cut the vehicle fees sharply when he first became governor, and we got a rebate checks. I think he got some sense and renewed a revenue flow back into the state by bringing the vehicle registration fees back to at least the previous rates.

  14. Got some sense!!!?

    You're kidding, right?

  15. "Got some sense!!!?"

    You putting words in someone's mouth?

  16. The bipartisan group paints a bleak picture of our current state budget, but also offers tough yet feasible solutions.

    It's time for people of all political stripes to demand fiscal responsibility from our elected officials.

  17. The phrase "fiscal responsibility" and elected California officials in the same sentence triggers the urge to either upchuck or double over in hysterical laughter. Enjoy your pain.

  18. I dunno, Chris - I am suspicious of all these "groups... I read this... I see Leon Panetta's name... I don't see any overt indicators that this is another Soros type group, but I just don't know...
    Origins and Support
    For California to meet the challenges of the coming decades - in the areas of healthcare, education, the environment and economic growth, among others - the state will need to dramatically change how public decisions are made and how public dollars are spent.

    In recognition of these challenges several major California foundations (The California Endowment, The Evelyn and Walter Haas Jr. Fund, The William and Flora Hewlett Foundation, The James Irvine Foundation, and The David and Lucile Packard Foundation) came together to ask four civic organizations to recommend a plan to achieve this change.

    California Forward is the result. This new organization was created by California Common Cause, Center for Governmental Studies, New California Network and The Commonwealth Club of California's Voices of Reform Project. The goal of California Forward is to contribute to improving the quality of life for all Californians by creating more responsive, representative and cost-effective government.

    Like "DividedWefail" which SOUNDED good, but is just another front...

    I hope this one is for real - and not just using Orwellian terms and "narratives" to push an agenda.

    Because that is more than half our problem.

  19. Check out those names on
    David & Lucile Packard Foundation

    caforward's site just went down - I'll look up more once it comes back up.

    Really, there needs to be some regulation of these orgs - people need to know who is really behind them.BEFORE they place their trust in the flowery rhetoric.

    Don't know what I mean? Want to see how the trails work?

    Check this out -

    Get a taste of the next four years.

  20. 8:24, you are a sheep. Ca. spends more money in schools and gets less returns. I paid all school taxes and homeschooled my children.They are all solid (WORKING) citizens. The Gov should cut costs, starting with high paid, do nothing commission appointments. When Ca. schools get back to basics(3R's,music & phys ed).and stops the socialist push on tolerance and progressive activism they'll find the public better served.The anti-economy logic of 8:24 is typical of a government school non-think education. Higher taxes do not stimulate anything. Gov., including schools must learn to live within the public's means.

  21. Cut off all subsidies and decrease education spending.

  22. Yet another reason for real mass transit.

  23. Cut funding to the schools. Seems that some of the money isn't well spent like in McKinleyville, who paid $17,000 to pass a bond, and allows a person who is a gambler in charge of the books.

  24. Actually, last I heard, McKinleyville had one of the best run school districts in the State.

    The Bond is to build a new gym, and upgrade classrooms for such things as - gasp - computers.

    It's too bad that as much as we spend on education that it all gets sucked away, and they have to pass bonds for these things.

    You could disband the entire State dept of education, though, all they seem to do is screw things up , dictate how to teach (which creates that dumbing down thing) - and negotiate for new - and not always better, textbooks.

    That's be one big chunka change. And the schools would run just fine without it.

  25. how. grand,we will now send the worst carpetbagger in Cal back to help rip us off even more. arnie is just a chump but wes really knows how to kick the can down the road. every time his little can clatters to the ground it spreads more tax payer money to his cronies. ain't poly-tics grand?


Comments are open, but moderated, for the time-being. Good luck.