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Proposed bill would extend California’s sales tax, boost yearly revenue by $10 billion

by AirTalk®

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Bob Hertzberg shown campaigning during the Los Angeles mayoral race on Tuesday, March 8, 2005 in Los Angeles, California. Sandy Huffaker/Getty Images

A State Senator from Los Angeles has introduced a bill to reform California’s sales tax structure and extend the state tax to include certain services, which could possibly include legal work, Internet usage, advertising, and even dry cleaning. While most people shudder at the idea of new taxes, Democrat Bob Hertzberg from Van Nuys says his bill would not only overhaul California’s tax structure, but also boost the state’s revenue by $10 billion a year.

Hertzberg is no stranger to the Capitol, having served in the Assembly from 1996 to 2002 and was speaker for the final two years of that span. While the bill is getting a surprisingly bipartisan reception from lawmakers who are open to the conversation, the bill’s path to becoming law is anything but clear. Any tax increase requires a bipartisan vote from two-thirds of the members of the Senate and the Assembly.

Opponents say the bill would create challenges for the industries that are covered by the new sales tax. They worry that businesses could suffer and work could even be pushed off shore as a result.

What do you think of this proposal? Are you open to extending the sales tax to certain services if it meant a huge boost in annual revenue? What are the challenges that should be considered when discussing tax reform like this?

Guests:

Sen. Bob Hertzberg (D-Van Nuys), California State Senator serving the state’s 18th district, which covers the East San Fernando Valley.

Michael Belote, President of California Advocates, Inc., a lobbying firm in Sacramento representing clients in different areas of commerce, including many that would be covered by a sales tax on services.

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