This is an urgent request for all taxpayers in Los Angeles County to call the Capitol TODAY and urge a “NO” vote on Assembly Bill 1679.
AB 1679 is a gut-and-amend bill, a trick used by politicians to strip all the language out of a harmless bill and turn it into something completely different. In this case, AB 1679 has been turned into an authorization for an even higher sales tax in L.A. County, where residents of 47 cities already pay 10.25%.
State law caps the combined total of local sales taxes at just 2% above the state’s sales tax rate of 7.25%, which is already the highest in the nation. To sneak in taxes that are even higher, local politicians ask Sacramento lawmakers to pass a special bill to allow the local sales tax to exceed the cap. And they can do this again and again.
That’s what AB 1679 does. It allows Los Angeles County to raise the sales tax by another half-percent.
The Senate Governance and Finance Committee will consider AB 1679 at a hearing on Wednesday, July 12. The bill would allow L.A. County to double the Measure H sales tax: the quarter-percent increase in the sales tax approved by voters in 2017 with a ten-year time limit and a mandate to spend all the money on homelessness services. Now homelessness is worse than ever. So what do the politicians want to do? You guessed it: another tax increase.
AB 1679 would allow the Measure H sales tax to be replaced with a tax TWICE AS HIGH and made permanent, and what’s worse, a motion presented to the L.A. County Board of Supervisors today discusses the likelihood that special interests will collect signatures on a local initiative to raise the tax, using a loophole created by the courts to make it easier to pass tax increases. A tax increase by initiative would be declared passed if it received a simple majority of the vote instead of the two-thirds vote required by Proposition 13 for special taxes.
With the cost of living SO HIGH in Los Angeles, a sales tax increase should be out of the question. Instead, lawmakers may use this gut-and-amend bill to help L.A. politicians spend twice as much on failed policies to address homelessness.
PLEASE CALL THE MEMBERS OF THE SENATE GOVERNANCE AND FINANCE COMMITTEE TODAY and urge them to vote NO on AB 1679. Taxes are too high already!
Senate Committee on Governance and Finance
Senator Anna Caballero (Chair) 916-651-4014
Senator Kelly Seyarto (Vice Chair) 916-651-4032
Senator Catherine Blakespear 916-651-4038
Senator Brian Dahle 916-651-4001
Senator María Elena Durazo 916-651-4026
Senator Steven M. Glazer 916-651-4007
Senator Nancy Skinner 916-651-4009
Senator Scott D. Wiener 916-651-4011
You can also watch the hearing online and call in with a public comment. The information and the call-in number will be posted on the website of the committee at this link on Wednesday morning: https://sgf.senate.ca.gov/
P.S. You can also call your own representative in the Senate and urge them to vote no on AB 1679. Look up his or her name and contact info at findyourrep.legislature.ca.gov. If you can, please call today. Thank you!