When State Senator Bob Hertzberg announced his tax proposal, SB8, in late 2014, he made no secret of using it as a tool to raise taxes by a net $10 billion – that is, per year.
The senator tried to pass it off as “tax modernization.”
He even gave the bill a deceivingly benign name: the Upward Mobility Act. Loosely translated, that means the Up Your Wallet Robbery initiative. I would have been at least conciliatory towards it had he been straightforward and called it a tax increase, rather than obfuscating its purpose. Hertzberg has generally been a straight-shooter in his career, so this slight of hand attempt was out of character, making it all the more disappointing.
A year later, it effectively died. It received no traction in Sacramento. Governor Brown shrugged it off; the Senate Governance and Finance Committee, which Hertzberg chairs, did not deem it worthy to progress. It officially died January of this year.
He said he would reintroduce it.
He did in February – SB1445.
This time, Hertzberg made no fanfare, perhaps learning a lesson from the bad publicity he created with SB8. For that matter, the bill contains only intent language at this time. It appears he is playing it close to his chest.
Does he still want to raise $10B?
As I stated in an earlier article on the subject, Hertzberg needs to share how the bill would impact each segment of the state’s taxpayers.
He did not in 2015, although he must have had an idea. One does not arrive at a figure as large as $10B without having at least penciled it out in some detail.
Let’s see what he does this year.