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Is It Relief or Road to Ruin?

Perhaps the most divisive issue in Sacramento is the proposal by Gov. Pete Wilson to sharply reduce the annual taxes Californians pay to register their cars. Wilson’s plan would slash in half the 2% tax on the value of motor vehicles and would return to taxpayers almost $1 billion of the state’s $4.4 billion surplus.

Democrats warn that such a cut could cripple local governments, some of which receives significant revenue from car fees.

Despite Wilson’s pledge that the fee revenue would be replaced by money from the General Fund, local officials are anxious about such a plan, especially if the economy turns sour.

In the meantime, Democrats want to use the surplus to aid schools.

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Assemblyman Tom McClintock (R-Northridge) first introduced the car tax concept in a bill that would repeal the fees altogether.

In today’s Valley Perspective, McClintock defends his proposal while Assemblyman Scott Wildman (D-Glendale) takes the opposing view.


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