Senate Republican Leader Bob Huff (R-Diamond Bar) shines the light on a proposed “4th of July” tax in his Capitol Comment for the week of June 30th, 2014.
The 4th of July tax is a proposed tax on the retailers of “Safe and Sane” fireworks, and would hurt the many non-profit agencies that rely upon fireworks sales to fund worthy causes.
Senator Huff maintains that Democrats who control the state budget process are responsible for the new tax proposal, which will require a two-thirds vote of the Legislature to pass. Democrats haven’t brought the measure up for a vote yet since Republican do not support it.
Here is the script for this week’s Capitol Comment:
I’m Senator Bob Huff and this is my Capitol Comment for the Week of June 30th, 2014
The 4th of July weekend is upon us. This is a federal holiday that celebrates the adoption of the Declaration of Independence on July 4, 1776, declaring independence from the Kingdom of Great Britain.
But for Democrats who control the State Legislature – July 4th offers another excuse to impose a new tax on freedom celebrating Californians. This is what I call “the 4th of July Fireworks Tax.”
One of the budget trailer bills that Democrats crafted, SB 866, proposes a tax of ten cents per pound on the distributors of Safe and Sane Fireworks. The money resulting from this tax would be given to the State Fire Marshall – to help fund the disposal of illegal fireworks.
Once this authority passes to the State Fire Marshall, he or she would be authorized under this Fireworks Tax to increase it by as much as 20 cents per pound.
Here’s the problem. Putting a special “Fourth of July tax” on distributors of legal ‘safe and sane’ fireworks hurts the charities that sell them and Californians who buy them, since the cost will be passed on.
Taxing legal fireworks to dispose of illegal fireworks would be like charging people who don’t own cars to fund DUI checkpoints and enforcement. It’s unfair and unnecessary. In fact, we could actually make money just by selling them back to the other states where they come from like Nevada. That was one of the Governor’s proposal that the Democrats killed last year.
While they decided to delay the this 4th of July tax until August, when press coverage will be less, remember this as you head out to make your safe and sane fireworks purchases this year: Democrats control the state budget process. They can and do craft and pass budgets without Republican input.
This year the Democrats passed a new state budget that hit a new record spending level: $254 BILLION. That’s $25 BILLION more than last year, with the help of the Prop 30 tax increase a couple years ago. This budget has billions for everything – from state employee raises to swimming pools. It even provides $500 million for 3,500 Caltrans employees that reportedly have no work to do.
Yet, they can’t find $600,000 for firefighters to dispose of illegal fireworks without raising taxes. That’s ridiculous, and you can’t beat the irony that they want to tax the celebration of Independence Day – the day that celebrates the American Revolution that largely resulted from unfair taxation.
It’s the 4th of July Weekend. Celebrate with family. Celebrate with friends. Celebrate responsibly.
I’m Senator Bob Huff. Thank you for joining me for my Capitol Comment.
Senator Huff serves as the Senate Republican Leader and represents the 29th Senate District covering portions of Los Angeles, Orange and San Bernardino Counties. Follow Senator Huff on Twitter @bobhuff99.