Even before last month’s budget agreement, The Golden State already had the 3rd worst business tax climate in the nation. Now, as California businesses struggle to keep their doors open and make payroll on the heals of the largest state tax hike in history, power-hungry bureaucrats are making it clear that they’re not done just yet and are seeking to impose what would be the nation’s most draconian set of regulations on televisions.

The proposed regulations would be phased in over a two year period, with a first tier taking effect on Jan. 1, 2011, and an even stricter second tier on Jan. 1, 2013. It is estimated 30% of TV’s currently in stores would be banned under the proposal. So rigid are these requirements, that only one plasma TV currently on the market would pass muster.

Subsequently, many consumers will simply choose to order online from out of state vendors. Shawn DuBravac, an economist with the Consumer Electronics Association, estimated that if 30% of televisions fail to meet standards and can’t be sold, California could lose $130 million in tax revenue and 15,800 jobs. 

In commenting on this proposal, which is being considered by the California Energy Commission, the Consumer Electronics Association calls the proposal "an unnecessary and harmful approach" that would hurt both customers and businesses in the state. ATR agrees whole heartedly.

Mike McMaster, president of Wilshire Entertainment Inc stated that this "would be basically the end of our business." His two locations in Thousand Oaks and Valencia employ 54 people and specialize in sales and installation of custom home theater systems centered on extremely large TVs. Best Buy calls it "a punitive and unnecessary regulatory approach" and has rightfully called on the state to abandon it in favor of "market-based and consumer-oriented" policies. 

Proponents of these onerous regulations maintain that the televisions in question use 43% more power than traditional tube-style TV’s of yesteryear, yet they fail to mention that they look 43,000% better than older models. Consumers should have the freedom to enjoy the fruits of their labor and the state of California shouldn’t be looking to snuff out leisure activities enjoyed by law abiding residents. After all, this ban wouldn’t just apply to TV’s in the home – forget watching high-definition big-screens at your favorite sports-bar as well. They too would get the ax.

ATR encourages California taxpayers to contact the California Energy Commission and urge them to oppose these costly and unnecessary regs.  Now is also a great time to ask the commission why they deem spending time on this issue to be a wise use of scarce state resources.