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Tuesday, January 20, 2009

California's 21st Century Economy Commission Meets 1/22/09

The commission set up by Governor Schwarzenegger and the legislators is holding its first meeting this Thursday 1/22/09 in San Diego.

Here is the link to the Commission website:

Here is the link to the agenda for the 1/22 meeting, which per the website will be webcast:

The agenda for the first meeting looks like it will be providing some helpful background on California's tax system as well as other states.

The commission website also notes future meetings:
  • 2/12/09 at UCLA
  • 3/10/09 at UC Berkeley
  • 4/9/09 at UC Davis (if needed)

I've blogged on this before (here).

This certainly isn't California's first tax commission. The last one - the Commission on Tax Policy in the New Economy, issued its report December 2003. I expect that these recommendations of that commission may show up in those of the new commission:

  • Improve use tax collection (a line for use tax was added to the individual income tax forms) - more can be done, particularly consumer education, as well as finding ways to incentivize remote Internet vendors to collect the tax (I have a report on this one).
  • Broaden the sale tax to include more services, but do so in a revenue neutral way (which I believe means lower the rate). (one of my favorite topics)
  • Eliminate some sales tax exemptions (hopefully there would be no recommendation to eliminate exemptions that only apply to businesses (due to pyramiding)).
  • Some type of modification to the property tax assessment system for non-residential property.
  • Establish a state tax court.

It will be interesting to watch. I hope the Commission's work gets appropriate attention by the public and the lawmakers.

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