Create economic growth, not new taxes


Story By Marc Steinorth | The San Bernardino Sun

With higher than anticipated revenues, the state legislature passed the largest budget in state history. Yet there remain critical funding needs, such as transportation infrastructure and our backlogged courts. This means we need to better prioritize our budget, not raise taxes to generate more revenue.

Instead of focusing on growing the economy to increase revenues, the Sacramento machine continues to opt for tax hikes. One of the biggest attempts is in Senate Constitutional Amendment 5 (SCA 5), which would change how property tax is assessed on commercial properties.

In the 1970s, California homeowners on fixed incomes and retired senior citizens were literally being forced out of their homes due to their inability to pay skyrocketing property taxes. There were more than 400,000 people in Los Angeles County alone who could not pay their property taxes. As a result, voters passed Proposition 13 (1978) to limit out-of-control taxes. Proposition 13 immediately lowered property taxes by almost 60 percent after it was passed. Since then, it has saved property owners over $528 billion.

SCA 5 changes Proposition 13 so that property taxes for commercial businesses would rapidly increase. The proponents of SCA 5 argue that too many businesses are getting away with not paying their fair share, yet this is the wrong perspective.

Successful businesses are the foundation of strong communities. Without private businesses, there is no economy. They are the lifeblood for the economic circle of life. A business creates jobs, bringing families to the area. In turn, this translates to more and better schools, producing an educated and thriving workforce who will create and attract even more businesses. Ultimately, this leads to low crime rates, a steady housing market, and strong local government revenues that ensure a well-run community.

The passage of SCA 5 would stop business, and all of its positive ramifications, in its tracks. An increase in the cost of doing business will always translate into higher costs for products and services we purchase every day. The losers in this deal are not just businesses, but all of the customers who will have to pay more for their goods. Furthermore, it is estimated that about 400,000 Californians would lose their jobs in the first five years following this proposal’s passing.

By changing Prop 13 in a manner that increases the cost of doing business in San Bernardino County and California, we will be hindering the economic growth we desperately need. Just a few years ago we faced one of the worst recessions in the history of San Bernardino County. Our unemployment rate was in the double digits and properties were being foreclosed upon left and right. It’s important to remember that businesses represent people. When businesses are hurt, it also hurts the owners and the employees who are dependent on the success of the business.

Supporters of SCA 5 say it will raise $9 billion for education, affordable housing, and other priorities. New taxes are not necessary to support these priorities. We can increase revenue by creating a better environment for businesses to grow. We must avoid making the mistakes of the past in order to move us forward.

Read the original article at The San Bernardino Sun

Story By Marc Steinorth | The San Bernardino Sun
Assemblyman Marc Steinorth, R-Rancho Cucamonga, represents the 40th District.

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