ATR sent the following letter to members of the Californai legislatue today:


Dear Legislator,

Now that California’s state legislature has convened for the 2012 session, please keep taxpayers in mind as you take up important policy issues this year.  Tax hikes, excessive regulation, and irresponsible spending will impede economic growth in your state and encourage businesses to flee for states with business-friendly policies. Just ask your counterparts in Illinois; they can vouch for this.

There is never a good time for a tax increase, but siphoning money from the private sector is the last thing lawmakers should be doing amid this tepid and uncertain economic recovery. Imposing higher state taxes is even more egregious and unadvisable when put into the context of what has happened and what is scheduled to happen with federal tax policy.

While the media in your state has likely not yet reported on it and your constituents may not yet realize it, the fact is that the largest federal tax increase in U.S. history will hit individuals, families, and employers in your state in less than twelve short months.  These tax increases include: higher income tax rates, higher taxes on marriage and family, a middle class death tax, higher tax rates on savers and investors, employer tax hikes, and twenty new or higher taxes in Obamacare.

These tax increases come on the heels of the hundreds of billions of tax hikes that were already enacted over the past three years. As such, I urge you to reject efforts to pile on with further job-killing tax increases at the state level during the 2012 legislative session.

To make matters worse, the White House has imposed $232 billion in new regulatory costs on employers in 2011 alone.  Burdensome regulations hurt businesses and depress the economy. The adverse economic impact caused by these excessive regulations is felt by both businesses and individuals.  In fact, residents in your state had to work 229 days last year just to pay for the combined federal and state regulatory and spending burden.

A move to priority-based budgeting, combined with a rejection of additional taxes and attempts to impose excessive regulation is a winning economic strategy that will make your state more prosperous and economically competitive in 2012. Additionally, 2012 is an important year on both the policy and electoral fronts. As such, ATR will be keeping your constituents and the media up-to-date on how members of the legislature vote on important tax issues, both throughout the legislative session and leading up to the November elections.

Lastly, please look to ATR as a resource on policy matters ranging from taxes, budgetary matters, energy, tech & telecom, labor policy, and more. If you have any questions, please contact ATR’s Patrick Gleason at 202-785-0266 or [email protected]



Grover G. Norquist