On Monday, HJTA President Jon Coupal debated Conway Collis, a principal backer of an initiative to increase taxes on higher value residential and commercial property. The event was sponsored by the California Alliance of Taxpayer Advocates
Collis, a former member of the State Board of Equalization, argued that the funds raised by his initiative, the Lifting Children and Families Out of Poverty Act, would be a way for government to help relieve 2.4 million California children living below the poverty line. The goal would be to halve the number in poverty over 20 years.
‘Aren’t taxes high enough?’ asked Coupal, who went on to list the state’s high rates in different tax categories. The state is running a surplus, he added.
Coupal drew attention to the nearly 30 existing programs to help those in poverty. He pointed out that higher property taxes on commercial property would increase the exodus of businesses and jobs to other states. Because Collis’ initiative would also impact residential property, Coupal warned that this would open the door to increases on even modest homes.
Promoters of the Lifting Children and Families Out of Poverty Act are currently gathering signatures with the goal of qualifying for the November 2016 ballot.