SACRAMENTO, Calif. /California Newswire/ — Legislators held a State Capitol News Conference today to announce the introduction of a package of bills to close “fat cat” tax loopholes and corporate giveaways. Assemblymembers Pedro Nava (D-Santa Barbara), Tom Ammiano (San Francisco), Kevin De León (D-Los Angeles), were joined by educators, healthcare providers, nurses, and California’s Workers.
Assemblymember Nava tossed Governor Schwarzenegger’s budget into a recycling bin to represent the dismay of Californians over his proposed budget that will cost upward of 300,000 California jobs.
“We have introduced modest, common sense bills that will help ensure that California’s hard working families are not getting ripped off by corporate tax loopholes,“ said Nava. “At a time when classrooms are getting more crowded, when more and more people are losing their health insurance due to unemployment, and numerous programs affecting seniors, and the disabled are facing more cuts, we cannot afford these giveaways to big business and lose more than 300,000 California jobs.”
While average Californians pay their taxes, corporations are avoiding paying more than a billion dollars each year. As a result, California’s classrooms are more crowded, police and fire services are being reduced, care for the disabled and elderly is being eliminated, children will be left without health insurance, community clinics and state parks will be closed and college tuition could go up.
“For over thirty years, California has allowed corporate landowners to benefit from tax loopholes while shifting the real tax burden to individual homeowners and reducing California’s tax base,” said Assemblymember Tom Ammiano (D, San Francisco) “We cannot continue to cut funding from our schools, our parks and our vital human services without addressing the need for new revenue and an equitable tax system.”
“Seniors have borne the brunt of these draconian budget cuts; we have seen a reduction in adult day health care programs that allow seniors to stay in their homes, the elimination of Alzheimer’s research, and aid to low income seniors has been slashed,” said Gary Passmore of the Congress of California Seniors. “The Fair Share Act will bring much needed revenues to support these essential programs.”
“With $18 billion in cuts to education, this could be an important source of revenue to save important services for our students,” said Jai Sookprasert the tax policy analyst for the California School Employees Association.
“Recent budget cuts are harming nurses’ ability to provide for the critical health needs of people in our state,” said Elizabeth Pataki, RN of the California Nurses Association. “An oil severance tax could provide much needed revenue to help pay for Californians’ healthcare needs.”
“The last round of budget cuts has affected every Californian,” said Willie Pelote of the American Federation of State, County, and Municipal Employees. “We are dismantling programs and need to ensure that sufficient revenue is available to mitigate the State’s fiscal crisis.”
Governor Schwarzenegger is scheduled to release his revised state budget on May 14th.