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Patrick Gleason

Gov. Pawlenty Possibly Coming to Defense of Internet Freedom


Posted by Patrick Gleason on Tuesday, May 12th, 2009, 2:44 PM PERMALINK


ATR has been periodically reporting on the Minnesota Department of Public Safety's quixotic effort to censor the internet by ordering 11 of the largest internet service providers in the nation to block access to 200 online gaming sites.

MN Rep. Pat Garofolo responded by introducing legislation, HF 2370, that would circumvent the DPS's order. Click here to view the letter that ATR sent to all members of the Minnesota legislature last week in support of HF 2370.

ATR has since learned from MN state officials that Gov. Tim Pawlenty (R) will likely reverse the DPS's unlawful order based on the fact that the DPS does not have jurisdiction over the internet, which spans 150 countries worldwide.

A reversal of the DPS's order will also prevent a tremendous misallocation of scarce state resources and save the Minnesota taxpayers from a hefty tab in legal fees.

In response to the DPS's actions, the Internet Media Entertainment & Gaming Association (iMEGA) has filed suit against John Willems, Director of the DPS's Alcohol & Gambling Enforcement Division. ATR fully concurs with iMEGA's contention that the state of Minnesota does not have jurisdiction over the internet and that the DPS's action violates the Constitution's Commerce Clause.

Unfortunately this is not Minnesota's first foray into stifling e-commerce. In 2005 the state issued regulations to prevent Minnesotans from ordering wine online from in-state and out-of-state wineries. That action, too, drew a lawsuit.

ATR looks forward to a reversal of the DPS's unlawful action and avoidance of the horrible precedent that it would set.

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Minnesota State Representative Pat Garofalo Comes to Defense of Internet Freedom


Posted by Patrick Gleason on Tuesday, May 5th, 2009, 11:20 AM PERMALINK


Yesterday Minnesota State Representative Pat Garofalo (R-Farmington) introduced legislation that would circumvent the MN Department of Public Safety's attempt to block access to 200 online gaming sites in the North Star State.

As was previously mentioned on this site, John Willems, director of the MN Dept. of Public Safety's Alchohol & Gambling Enforcement Division and apparently a huge fan of China's internet censorship policies, sent a letter to 11 national and regional internet service providers, instructing them to block access to 200 gaming websites in Minnesota.

Americans for Tax Reform vehemently opposes Willems' quixotic attempt to stifle freedom of the internet, which represents a fatuous waste of taxpayer dollars and scarce state resources.

ATR will continue to work with Minnesota lawmakers to secure expeditious passage of Rep. Garofalo's bill.

Stay tuned for further updates.

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North Carolina Senate Proposal Raises Taxes by $1.7 Billion


Posted by Patrick Gleason on Monday, May 4th, 2009, 3:39 PM PERMALINK


Americans for Tax Reform today announced opposition to the NC Senate’s “21st Century Tax Rate Reduction and Modernization Plan”. While some positive reforms are found in this proposal, it ultimately results in a $1.7 billion tax hike on North Carolinians over the next two years. This plan would significantly increases the income tax on most individuals and families, expand the sales tax, hike tobacco and alcohol taxes and eliminate numerous tax credits and deductions. It is estimated that when fully phased in, this plan will hike state and local taxes by over $850 million every year, exceeding the $500 million in unspecified tax hikes called for in the recent budget.
 
Under the Senate’s plan, the method used to calculate income tax rates is altered to result in substantially higher taxes on almost all North Carolina residents. The plan will extend the state sales tax to include digital products, warranties, movies, recreation, real property, storage & moving, building & repairs, web based and other information services, while simultaneously limiting the refund for nonprofit organizations such as hospitals. The cigarette tax would increase by 15 cents a pack, and North Carolina would collect an additional $44 million a year in increased alcohol taxes. Other proposed tax hikes include applying the franchise tax to all limited liability businesses and local tax hikes.
 
“As working North Carolina families are struggling just to make ends meet, their senators want to take even more of their money to make up for chronic government overspending. There is one thing economists of all political stripes can agree upon: the last thing you want to do in a recession is raise taxes, yet the North Carolina Senate wants to do just that – to the tune of a whopping $850 million a year” said Grover Norquist, President of Americans for Tax Reform.  “Everyone will be worse off after these tax hikes. Income tax hikes will hit families already struggling to put food on the table. Increasing the sales tax base will force businesses to shed jobs, or even close their doors. Increasing the alcohol tax, and taxing ‘recreation’ will decimate the hospitality sector. Furthermore, raising the cigarette tax, which has been proven failure when it comes to raising revenue, targets the state’s poorest residents. Everyone will suffer to make up for the state government’s profligate ways.”
 
North Carolina currently ranks a dismal 39th in Business Tax Climate nationally. According to the Center for Fiscal Accountability, North Carolina taxpayers already work 191 days – more than half the year – just to pay off the cost of government. Under this proposal, every individual earning over $60,000, and every family earning over $70,000 will see a sharp rise in their income tax: individuals earning $100,000 can expect to pay a an additional 10% in state income tax alone. When fully phased in, this plan will cost every North Carolina household additional $250 a year in taxes.
 

“By calling this blatant cash grab a ‘tax rate reduction and modernization plan’ the North Carolina Senate is channeling 1984 to the extreme: this is an example of Orwellian doublespeak at its finest” added Mr. Norquist. “North Carolina must cure itself of its addiction to overspending and stimulate the economy by reducing the burden of government. This plan does just the opposite: it is bad for families, bad for employers, and bad for the Old North State.”

Below is a chart put together by the Civitas Institute of Raleigh that details the effect of the Senate's tax increase over the next two years:

SENATE TAX PROPOSAL
IMPACT ON TAXPAYERS (MILLIONS $)

  State
FY 2010-11
State
FY 2011-12
Local
FY 2010-11
Local
FY 2011-12
Income $264.70 $343.50    
Sales $66.10 $83.60 $244.30 $261.30
Business* $105.50 ($5.40) $41.50 $45.60
"Sin" Taxes $123.20 $123.50    
IRC Conform** ($4.30) ($2.70)    
Total $555.20 $542.50 $285.80 $306.90

*Corporate tax rate to be phased down to 5.8% then 4.5% over two years
**Changes to conform to federal internal revenue code changes

 

 

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Lawmakers Target Magnolia State Smokers With 277% Tax Increase


Posted by Patrick Gleason on Friday, May 1st, 2009, 3:37 PM PERMALINK


Mississippi legislators will return to the capitol on May 6 to vote on a proposal to raise the state cigarette tax by 50 cents. This is effectively a 277% tax increase.

What's worse, this comes on the heels of a 156% federal ciggarette tax hike that went into effect on April 1st. 

It is no secret that tobacco products are a dubious and declining source of revenue. Evidence from nearly every state that has unfairly targeted smokers for government revenue shows that very few tobacco tax hikes actually meet their revenue goals. 

When New Jersey raised the cigarette tax 17.5 cents in 2007 they expected to bring in an additional $30 million. Not only did New Jersey not meet that target, the Garden State ended up with a net loss of $22 million in total tax revenue from tobacco. Maryland doubled the cigarette tax to $2 last year and cigarette sales dropped 25%, falling considerably short of projections. 

To make matters worse, a cigarette tax hike’s effect would be felt predominantly by those least able to afford it. On average, smokers, whose median income is a little more than $36,000, make about 30 percent less than non-smokers. Furthermore, President Obama has already burdened smokers this year with the previously mentioned 156 percent hike in the federal excise tax on cigarettes.  Piling more taxes on top of this is ill advised and adds insult to injury. 

State spending priorities should be funded through existing resources and with as broad of a base as possible. Raising taxes on a declining revenue sources like tobacco to fund state spending programs is a recipe for higher taxes in years to come.  As tax revenues decrease and spending commitments mount, legislators will be forced to raise other taxes in the coming years for additional revenue. Furthermore, when combined with the higher federal cigarette tax, the revenue from an increased state cigarette tax will decline even faster than projected. 

ATR will continue to reach out to Mississippi lawmakers to urge their opposition to this odious proposal. Stay tuned for more updates on this important matter.

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Nevada Think Tank Releases Pro-growth, Pro-taxpayer Alternative Budget


Posted by Patrick Gleason on Thursday, April 30th, 2009, 6:33 PM PERMALINK


Liberal pundits and Democrat lawmakers have widely crticized conservatives for simply naysaying and being bereft of alternative proposals. This is patently false at the national level and it most certainly is not the case in the Silver State.

Earlier in the year this blog reported on Nevada Gov. Jim Gibbons' proposed budget, how it broke the promise he made to Nevadans to not raise taxes, and how it was based on an alleged $2 billion deficit that just wasn't there.

This week Nevada's premier free market think tank, the Nevada Policy Research Institute, released an alternative budget that does not raise taxes during a recession, cuts wasteful spending and ineffective programs, while focusing state resources on core government functions and priorities.

Gov. Gibbons and other politicians around the country craft their budgets in a way that would puzzle any business or family. They simply decide how much they want to spend and then figure out how much more they must steal from taxpayers in order to pay for the ensuing profligacy.

NPRI's budget proposal, titled "Nevada's Freedom Budget 2009-2011: The Road to Recovery," entails prioritizing and the state living within it's means, just as families all over Nevada and the country do everyday.

NPRI's Freedom Budget actually allocates $85 million more in care for the mentally ill than does the Governor's budget. Likewise, the Freedom Budget calls for $80 million more for learning materials to improve education.

The Freedom Budget proves that when wasteful spending and ill-performing programs are eliminated, there are more resources available for true priorities.

Furthermore, NPRI's Freedom Budget does not include federal stimulus funds and the onerous mandates and attached strings that come with it from D.C. Acceptance of stimulus dollars will only spell trouble for the Nevada economy. In fact, a recent study by Arduin, Laffer, Moore & Associates shows that the stimulus bill will result in the loss of 1.7 million jobs nationwide. This is not something that Nevada wants to partake in.

Americans for Tax Reform endorses NPRI's alternative budget and encourages those interested in the matter to check it out. For a copy of NPRI's Freedom Budget, Click Here.

 

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Minnesota Attempts to Censor Internet -- Taxpayer and First Amendment Groups Condemn Action


Posted by Patrick Gleason on Wednesday, April 29th, 2009, 6:16 PM PERMALINK


Americans for Tax Reform and the Media Freedom Project today released the following press release:

The Minnesota Department of Public Safety announced today that it has instructed 11 national and regional internet service providers to prohibit Minnesota residents from accessing almost 200 online gaming websites.
 
John Willems, director of the MN Alcohol and Gambling Enforcement Division, warned the thousands of law abiding Minnesotans who enjoy online gaming that today’s announced state action will put their “funds in peril.” Referring to online gaming, Willems added, “I don’t have a law that authorizes it, so it’s illegal,” in a statement that would outlaw even the most mundane daily activities and routines.
 
“Minnesota state officials have aggressively sought to deter internet freedom over the past few months. First legislators try to tax digital downloads, now bureaucrats want to censor the web,” said Grover Norquist, president of Americans for Tax Reform. This is nanny-statism at its worst – the government barging into a private matter because people are supposedly too stupid to make decisions and take care of themselves. Individual liberty should not be supplanted by the whims of politicians looking to soak even more money from an over-taxed, over-regulated population while feigning concern over safety issues.”    
 
Kentucky is also trying to shut down online gaming by attempting to seize 141 websites. Already having consumed a considerable amount of scarce state resources and taxpayer dollars, that case is now heading to the Kentucky Supreme Court.
 
Minnesota’s effort to block access to Internet sites that allow gaming is nothing more than an attempt to block competition the state doesn’t like. If Minnesota state officials were truly concerned about the 'societal impact' of gaming they wouldn’t have sanctioned more than a dozen casinos in the state and would be making efforts to close them, too,” said Derek Hunter, executive director of the Media Freedom Project. In the meantime the Department of Public Safety’s action violates the principles that govern the Internet, that it should remain open and free to legal transactions.  Since the federal government has yet to clearly define what constitutes 'illegal' online gaming, Minnesota is now seeking to arbitrarily do it. 
 

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Louisiana Tobacco Tax Bill Defeated


Posted by Patrick Gleason on Wednesday, April 29th, 2009, 12:53 PM PERMALINK


Legislation to raise the tobacco tax in Louisiana was rejected by the House Ways & Means Committee this week.  The bill, introduced by Rep. Karen Carter Peterson (D-93), was rejected by a 11-7 vote.

ATR applauds the 11 Louisiana legislators that rejected this dubious proposal. Too often lawmakers around the country this year have looked to smokers to pick up the tab for profligacy on the part of politicians.

Raising taxes on declining revenue sources like tobacco to fund new spending programs is a recipe for higher taxes in years to come. As tax revenue decreases and new spending commitments mount, legislators will be forced to raise taxes in the coming years. Furthermore, when combined with the new federal cigarette tax, revenue from an increased state cigarette tax will decline even faster than projected. If the state’s healthcare system is a priority, it should be funded through the current budget and existing resources.

What's worse, proponents of such legislation wish to raise taxes on those that can least afford it.

On average, smokers, whose median income is a little more than $36,000, make about 30 percent less than non-smokers. Furthermore, President Obama has already burdened smokers with a 156 percent hike in the federal excise tax on cigarettes.  Piling on more taxes on top of this is ill advised and adds insult to injury.

See below for a breakdown of the committee vote:

yeas:
Rep. Baldone
Rep. Burrell
Rep. Carter
Rep. Honey
Rep. Jackson
Rep. Richmond
Rep. Ritchie

nays:
Rep. Jane Smith
Rep. Barras
Rep. Danahay
Rep. M. Gillroy
Rep. Henry
Rep. Hoffman
Rep. Nowlin
Rep. Perry
Rep. Richard
Rep. Robideaux
Rep. Templet

 

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California Amazon Tax Bill Dies a Quick and Painless Death


Posted by Patrick Gleason on Tuesday, April 28th, 2009, 3:40 PM PERMALINK


An April 13 hearing on California Assembly Bill 178 had previously been postponed and rescheduled for April 27.  AB 178, commonly referred to as the Amazon Tax Bill, would require businesses with no physical presence in California to collect and remit the state’s sales tax on products purchased online by Californians.

However, a bit of rare good news for California taxpayers came out of Sacramento yesterday. Just as the bill was scheduled for consideration, the Assembly Committee on Revenue & Taxation voted to remove AB 178 from the docket, effectively taking this odious piece of legislation off the table, at least for this year.

Current law, under Quill v. North Dakota, requires a business have a physical presence or “nexus” in a state in order for the state to compel that business to collect and remit sales taxes. AB 178 represented an attempt to circumvent the federal interstate commerce law by presuming that a company has a physical nexus if business is solicited through a third-party advertiser that is based in California.

For more information on the Amazon Tax and what states are considering such legislation, visit http://www.stopetaxes.com/. 

For a pdf of the testimony ATR submitted in opposition to AB 178, click here or scroll down:

 

 

Statement of Patrick M. Gleason
California State Affairs Manager, Americans for Tax Reform
 
Assembly Bill 178
Committee on Revenue & Taxation
California State Assembly
 
April 27, 2009
 
Dear Members of the Committee,
 
My name is Patrick Gleason and I serve as California State Affairs manager for Americans for Tax Reform. On behalf of Americans for Tax Reform, I write to express to the committee our staunch opposition to Assembly Bill 178. While, unfortunately, I am not available to present at today’s hearing, I appreciate the opportunity to submit written testimony in opposition to AB 178, which would result in yet another massive tax increase on Californians at a time when they can least afford it.
 
As you know, AB 178 would require retailers with no physical presence in California to collect and remit the state’s sales tax on products purchased by Californians. This measure, commonly referred to as the “Amazon Tax,” would apply the highest sales tax in the nation to tangible personal property (TPP) purchased from out of state retailers by California consumers.
 
Current law, under Quill v. North Dakota, requires a business have a physical presence or “nexus” in a state in order for the state to compel that business to collect and remit sales taxes. AB 178 attempts to circumvent the federal interstate commerce law by presuming that a company has a physical nexus if business is solicited through a third-party advertiser that is based in California.
 
Competitive Disadvantage Increased
 
Proponents of this legislation contend that AB 178 will make Californian retailers more competitive. While this is a laudable goal, the unintended effects of AB 178 would yield the opposite result, increasing California businesses competitive disadvantage and raising the already high burden borne by Golden State taxpayers in the process.
 
AB 178 expands the definition of “doing business” in the state to include any retailer that, while based out of state, advertises on a California-based website using a click-thru banner ad or other link. If advertising with California-based websites were to create a nexus in the state for out of state retailers, those retailers will simply chose to terminate click-thru advertising agreements with California-based websites. Why would they not? Retailers can gain the exact same access to California’s consumer base with click-thru ads and other promotional links on websites based outside California. AB 178 would give them incentive to do so.
 
When New York passed a law similar to AB 178 last year, Overstock.com suspended all contracts with such online advertisers in New York. Likewise, AB 178 will eliminate an important source of revenue, which income tax is paid on, for many online entrepreneurs and other California-based organizations.
 
California is Already Overly Taxed
 
As you know, Californians pay the highest marginal income and sales tax rates in the country, rates that were raised even higher by the February budget agreement. Furthermore, Californians currently spend 204 days out of the year, well over half the year, just paying for the cost of their government. This oppressive burden is not without consequences. For years, families, individual taxpayers, and employers have fled to more friendly environments in other states; taking skills, jobs, and revenue with them. With the sixth highest state and local tax burden in the nation and a state business tax climate ranking nearly dead last, California is simply not an attractive place to move to, invest, or start a business in right now.
 
In an effort to counteract the inherent nature of the state’s onerous tax rates, proponents of AB 178 seek to unconstitutionally reach across state lines to collect taxes from retailers with no presence in California, raising the cost of goods for Golden State residents in the process. This is precisely the wrong remedy to increase competitiveness of California businesses or rectify the state’s budget crisis. Rather than attempt an unconstitutional overreach across state lines, which will likely saddle taxpayers with significant legal costs, California lawmakers should instead make in-state businesses more competitive by lowering the tax rates they pay, which are presently the highest in the nation.
 
Controlling Spending – Not Raising Taxes – Is the Answer
 
Simply put, if increased taxation were the answer, California would be in great shape. The reality is, however, that despite having one of the highest tax burdens in the nation, the Golden State is facing the prospect of a $42 billion budget deficit. The latest budget agreement passed by the legislature in February resulted in billions of dollars in additional taxes on Californians. Yet, already we are seeing the adverse and unintended consequences of that budget deal and other tax increasing measures such as AB 178. The legislature’s own budget analyst recently announced that the sales, income, and car tax hikes passed in February will fall short of projections by at least $8 billion. The fact is that people and businesses alter their behavior in response to changes in taxation.  
 
The California Board of Equalization projects that AB 178, if passed, will yield $150 million in additional revenue for the state. This is a drop in the bucket when compared to the size of the state’s deficit. This fact, combined with the unintended and adverse effects of the bill, should make AB 178 a non-starter for California lawmakers.
 
Chronic overspending, not insufficient taxation, is the problem that has created the state’s dire fiscal situation. Only by addressing out of control spending can California’s budget crisis be rectified. Rather than ever higher taxes, a hard spending cap that limits spending to population and inflation growth is the optimal remedy for California. State spending has tripled since 1991. Had spending been limited to population and inflation since then, California would have a $15 billion surplus as opposed to the $42 billion deficit that it currently faces. Lastly, one of the few things that economists of all political stripes agree on is that tax hikes should be avoided during times of recession
 
For the aforementioned reasons I urge the committee to reject AB 178. I thank you for the opportunity to comment on this important matter. Any further questions or concerns can be submitted to me via email at pgleason@atr.org.
 
Sincerely,
 
Patrick M. Gleason
California State Affairs Manager
Americans for Tax Reform

 

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ATR Urges Florida House to Hold the Line Against Senate Tax Hikers


Posted by Patrick Gleason on Wednesday, April 22nd, 2009, 5:35 PM PERMALINK


There is ample evidence that cigarettes are a dubious and declining source of revenue. Evidence from nearly every state that has unfairly targeted smokers for more revenue shows that very few cigarette tax hikes actually meet their revenue goals. When New Jersey raised the cigarette tax 17.5 cents in 2007 they expected to bring in an additional $30 million. Not only did New Jersey not meet that target, the Garden State ended up with a net loss of $24 million in total tax revenue from tobacco. Further demonstrating this deleterious effect, Maryland doubled the cigarette tax to $2 last year and cigarette sales dropped 25%, falling considerably short of projections.  

Despite this, the Florida Senate recently passed its version of the budget which included a $2 billion tobacco tax increase, in the middle of a recession no less. Furthermore, this burden would be borne by Floridians who can least afford it.To make matters worse, President Obama recently signed into law a new 61-cent hike in the federal cigarette tax, breaking one of his central campaign promises in the process. 

However, the Florida House has done the right thing and left the Senate's cash grab out of their budget. ATR sent a letter today to all members of the Florida House of Representatives urging them to hold the line against the Senate tax hikes when this debate goes to conference.

For a pdf copy of ATR's letter, Click Here.

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MMS Holds Hearing in California on Proposed 5-Year OCS Leasing Program


Posted by Patrick Gleason on Thursday, April 16th, 2009, 2:00 PM PERMALINK


The Minerals Management Service is holding a hearing in San Francisco today on the proposed draft program for the 2010-2015 Outer Continental Shelf (OCS) Leasing Program. An overflow crowd has packed an auditorium on UCSF Mission Bay campus to hear statements from lawmakers, policy experts, and activists. 

Sen. Barbara Boxer and California Lt. Gov. John Garamendi kicked off the hearing expressing their staunch opposition to any form of drilling. Boxer's commentary consisted almost entirely of appeals to emotion and irrationality. Both Boxer and Garamendi focused heavily on the Santa Barbara oil spill of 1969.

What Boxer and Garamendi failed to mention is that new technologies and techniques have been developed in the decades since that, had they been employed in '69, would have prevented that catastrophe. They also failed to mention, conveniently enough, that less than 1% of oil found in ocean waters is due to oil exploration. In fact, most oil found in the water, 62% to be specific, is the result of natural seepage from tectonic plates. 

John Adams once said that "facts are stubborn things." Boxer and Garamendi get around this by simply ignoring them.

For frequent updates on the hearing throughout the day, follow ATR's California State Affairs Manager on twitter: @patrickmgleason.

ATR has submitted testimony in favor of expanding offshore drilling as way to provide relief to overlyburdened Golden State taxpayers. Scroll down to read ATR's testimony:

 

 

Statement of Patrick M. Gleason
California State Affairs Manager, Americans for Tax Reform
 
Minerals Management Service Hearing:
Proposed 5-Year Outer Continental Shelf Leasing Program
April 16, 2009
 
Good day, my name is Patrick Gleason and I serve as California’s state affairs manager for Americans for Tax Reform, a non-profit taxpayer advocacy organization. I would like to thank the Minerals Management Service for providing the opportunity to comment on the development of the new 5-Year Outer Continental Shelf (OCS) Leasing Program.
 
Let me start by saying that concerns about the safety and cleanliness of offshore drilling are simply not based in reality or on the facts. Technological advancements have made offshore drilling one of the most environmentally safe forms of energy development. It is certainly more environmentally sensitive than importing from supertankers. Memories of the 1969 Santa Barbara disaster still stir strong emotions throughout this state, and rightfully so. However, Energy companies have since developed and now employ devices and techniques that would have prevented the Santa Barbara mishap, had they been available at that time.
 
But the main point that I would like to convey today is why full development of offshore energy resources is of the utmost importance to California’s economy and fiscal health. It is no secret that California is in a grave fiscal state due to decades of out of control spending. Facing a $42 billion budget deficit over the next 18 months, California lawmakers once again put taxpayers on the hook for the  state’s overspending habit by raising by billions of dollars the state income, sales and car taxes in February. This comes, despite the fact that Californians already pay the highest sales and marginal income tax rates in the nation.
 
The deleterious effects of these tax increases are already being realized. The state legislature’s budget analyst recently reported that revenue derived from these taxes will fall short of projections by approximately $8 billion, putting taxpayers once again in the crosshairs. To make matters worse, if Proposition 1A passes next month, California taxpayers will see yet another $16 billion in new levies. As it stands, Californians work 204 days out of the year, well over half of the year, just to pay for the cost of their government. This is not sustainable governance. Taxpayers and employers are fleeing the state, taking jobs, revenue, and skills with them.
 
Let me be clear, the primary cause of California’s budgetary woes is unchecked overspending and profligacy on the part of state officials. However, given the current lack of political will to address this systemic problem, aggressive exploration and utilization of the resources found in the OCS is perhaps the single most effective measure to help quash the year after year assault on California taxpayers and employers.
 
Development of offshore energy resources that had previously been off limits would generate $1.7 trillion in local, state, and federal tax revenue and development of all U.S. oil and natural gas resources could yield more than $4 trillion over the life of the resources. With upwards of 10 billion barrels of oil available in the waters off of the California coast, the Golden State stands to gain as much as any state from a sensible, “all of the above”, energy development plan. Greater state and federal profit sharing will serve to heighten this monetary benefit even further. Most importantly though, the substantial injection of revenue that would be provided to California will help to mitigate the prospect of further tax increase proposals on the already overly burdened California taxpayers.  
 
Furthermore, unemployment in this state has been on the rise and shows no sign of abating, especially in light of the massive tax increases recently passed. With one of the worst business tax climates in the country, California is simply not an attractive place to invest and create jobs right now. Development of the energy resources found in California waters would provide the state with desperately needed jobs. Estimates show that development of previously off-limits energy supplies would create 160,000 new jobs.
 
As you continue to weigh input on the matter of drilling in the OCS, I urge you to keep in mind that exploration and procurement to the fullest extent possible of the vast petroleum and natural gas reserves found in the OCS is the conclusion that will provide the greatest benefit to taxpayers and the economy as a whole. California, more than any other state, has the most to gain from utilization of our offshore resources. 
 
I thank you for the opportunity to comment on this important and do not hesitate to contact me with any further questions.

 

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