California is Officially Closed for Business


Posted by Patrick Gleason on Thursday, February 19th, 2009, 8:11 PM PERMALINK


Californians have Taxpayer Protection Pledge breaker Sen. Abel Maldonado and four other Pledge violating lawmakers to thank for a $14 billion tax hike that passed the California Senate earlier today. For Sen. Maldonado’s betrayal, he received three constitutional amendments to be placed on the statewide ballot. One of these amendments was the creation of an open primary system, which he believes will allow him to better prevent electoral retribution if he decides to run for statewide office.
 
To read ATR’s statement on this taxpayer betrayal, click “read more.”
 
California Legislature Passes $14 Billion Tax Hike
6 Legislators Violate Pledge to Constituents
 
WASHINGTON D.C– Early today the California Senate passed a budget agreement that will raise taxes by $14 billion. Sen. Abel Maldonado (R-Santa Maria) provided the deciding vote. The California Assembly approved the deal shortly thereafter.
 
In approving this massive tax increase Sen. Maldonado has violated a written promise he made to Californians that he would “oppose any and all efforts to raise taxes.” Other Golden State lawmakers who broke this same commitment today include Sen. Dave Cogdill (R-Modesto), Sen. Roy Ashburn (R-Bakersfield), Assemblyman Mike Villines (R-Clovis) and Assemblyman Anthony Adams (R-Hesperia).
 
“It is a truly sad day for California taxpayers,” said Grover Norquist, president of Americans for Tax Reform. “It is never good when a politician breaks a promise to constituents, but it is unconscionable when a broken promise results in a $14 billion tax hike in the middle of a recession .”
 
Californians face the 6th highest tax burden in the country and already pay the highest gas, sales, and income taxes in the nation. The budget deal passed in Sacramento today raises all of those rates. In exchange for Sen. Maldonado’s vote, three constitutional amendments will be put on the statewide ballot. One of those amendments would create an open primary system.
 
“People and employers have been fleeing the state in droves as a result of California’s punitive tax code, taking jobs and income with them. Today’s vote will only exacerbate this deleterious trend,” saidNorquist. “Californians worked 204 days last year, well over half of the year, just to pay for the cost of their government. As a result of this budget it will take much longer to pay this cost in future years. The vote that happened in Sacramento today made it very clear that California is closed for business.”

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