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Local Tax Bill Delayed

Posted on Friday, June 3, 2011 6:47am

Senate Leader Darrell Steinberg is putting off a vote on his controversial bill to allow local governments, county school boards and community college districts to levy their own taxes. He says he’s waiting to see if there’s a budget deal that includes Governor Jerry Brown’s proposed tax extensions.

“If we can reach this agreement over the next week – which I believe is vital for public education and public safety in this state – I will then not move 653,” said Steinberg.

Steinberg’s Senate Bill 653 would give local agencies the ability to raise income, sales, cigarette, soda and oil taxes … as well as vehicle license fees … though only with voter approval.

Business groups and taxpayer advocates fear the bill would lead to “a flood of taxes” across the state – with different tax levels from county to county.

Steinberg says the measure isn’t his first choice. But he’s using it as leverage in budget negotiations. He hopes business groups that strongly oppose it will pressure Republicans to agree to a budget deal.

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