Tax Reform

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By GEORGE RUNNER

This month, State Controller Betty Yee released a framework for reforming California’s tax system. Releasing this framework is a great way to create public discussion on a much-needed reform, but I’m not holding my breath we’ll see real progress anytime soon.

The good news is mostly everyone agrees California’s tax system is in need of reform. It’s too volatile, rates are too high and other states like Florida and Texas continue to siphon away our jobs. We need a tax system that spurs, rather than stifles, innovation and job creation.

I’m concerned, however, that money-hungry lawmakers will use the call for reform as an excuse to raise taxes. Our tax system is convoluted and hard to understand. To this end the governor and Legislature must commit to consider only revenue-neutral ideas that don’t increase Californians’ overall tax burden.

Yes, it’s time to revamp our tax system. But can we trust the Legislature to get it right? If they get it wrong, lawmakers could inflict great harm on California’s economy, job creators and workers.

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