AB 286, authored by Assembly member Salas, is a fairly simple renewal of a program that already exists. Under current law, counties are allowed to decide whether they want to impose a $1 for personal/$2 for commercial vehicles in order to fund an anti-car theft program.
This isn’t some grand new program, it is simply a reauthorization of an existing program, but no, that dollar is very meaningful!
In a sign of bigger budget clashes to come, legislation to extend the life of a local $1 per year car registration fee to combat auto theft ran into fierce opposition from Republicans Wednesday. … The 45-25 vote sends the measure to the Senate.
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But Republicans called the fee an “end run” around laws that require voter support for new taxes. They said public safety programs should get first call on budgets and not have to rely on additional fees. …
Assemblyman Kevin Jeffries, R-Lake Elsinore, said if the state had its priorities in order “we wouldn’t be arguing about .. a dollar.” (SD U-T 6/4/09)
My first point would be that this clearly not a NEW fee. It is an old fee. How exactly is renewing an already existing fee imposing “a new tax.” The sheer logic gap is mind boggling.
The Republicans are now so single minded that they are arguing over a single dollar fee for a public safety program Republicans would ordinarily support. It is a program with strong accountability measures that has shown to be successful, but the Republicans are dragging it into a broader fight about the budget system.
Now, I won’t argue that we shouldn’t be funding the government this way, but when it comes down to it, there are no other options. Prop 13 and the supermajority rules have brought us to this point. There is no more room to cut, and now we are left playing shell games. And even after the Republicans have succeeded in making governing California impossible, they won’t even play by their own rules.
But this is where logical extremes take you…