As your taxpayer advocate and elected member of the State Board of Equalization, my goal is to make sure all taxpayers are treated fairly. I’m fighting to protect your rights and welcome your ideas on how we can work together to solve California’s toughest problems.
– GEORGE RUNNER
Time to Regulate Medical Marijuana
I recently wrote an opinion piece for the Sacramento Bee calling for regulation of California’s medical marijuana industry. Medical marijuana has been legal for two decades, but California still hasn’t developed a regulatory structure.
In April, I explored cannabis production facilities with BOE Member Fiona Ma. The tour made it clear that our current cash-based tax collection system for this industry is broken and unsafe.
Because of this, we’ve launched a “Cannabis Compliance Pilot Project” in our districts to help bring the medical marijuana industry into compliance with California’s tax laws.
Legislators Need to Re-evaluate Their Priorities
Governor Brown and legislative Democrats want to raise taxes and are dedicating a special session of the Legislature to do so. They argue that tax increases are needed to fix roads. To make matters worse, the Governor has abandoned his pledge of no taxes without voter approval.
Our roads and highways are important, but lawmakers should first eliminate government waste before asking taxpayers for more of their hard-earned money. This year Californians are paying more at the pump due to the new “hidden gas tax” on tailpipe emissions. Rather than raise taxes, the state could use cap-and-trade auction revenues to fight traffic congestion.
Here’s my response to the recent budget deal and the governor’s call for a special session.
Fire Fee Update
The next court date in the California’s Fire Prevention Fee lawsuit has been moved to Friday, August 7, 2015. This “Motion to Certify Class” hearing aims to establish the right of all fee payers to be represented in the case.
You’re invited to attend this important hearing.
For the latest information on the fire fee, visit calfirefee.com.
My office is looking for motivated full-time or part-time students who have an interest in learning about the political process and state tax policy. Interns will have an opportunity to work with our legal, legislative and communications teams on specific projects related to taxpayer or legislative needs.
Learn more about my internship program here.
I’m sponsoring a few events in July and August. These events are designed to assist taxpayers and help small business owners and nonprofit organizations be successful.
Free Small Business and Nonprofit Tax Seminars:
- Chico Small Business Tax Seminar – July 8, 2015
- Rancho Cucamonga Nonprofit Tax Seminar – July 14, 2015
- Ontario Small Business Tax Seminar in SPANISH – August 24, 2015
- Chino Small Business Tax Seminar – August 28, 2015
Register online at boe.ca.gov/seminars or call 1-888-847-9652.
Basic Sales and Use Tax Law/Tax Return Preparation
- Redding – July 15, 2015
- Sacramento – July 22, 2015
- Fresno – July 28, 2015
Register online at boe.ca.gov/classes or call 916-227-6700 to register or get more information.
Q: I used a coupon to purchase a taxable item at the store. Do I have to pay tax on the full price of the item?
A: Whether you are charged sales tax depends on the type of coupon you use. With manufacturer’s coupons, you generally will be charged tax on the full price of the item. With store coupons, you’re only required to pay tax on the discounted amount you pay to the retailer.
For more information and other consumer-oriented tax tips, see our new California’s Buyer’s Guide to Tax.