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Gaines Gazette: December 1, 2017

Friday, December 1, 2017

Merry Christmas & Happy New Year!

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!

It’s been a busy year on the legislative front and since session has ended I’ve had the opportunity to spend more time out in the First Senate District meeting with my constituents.

I’ve encountered many wonderful people and have received great comments, suggestions and feedback from citizens with concerns about our state. I look forward to following up on some of the ideas that were generated and continuing the dialogue on how we can make California a better place to live, work and raise our families.

The holidays are upon us and I wanted to take the time to wish you and your families a safe and joyful Christmas and a Happy New Year!

2018 is going to be an exciting year and I look forward to the challenges and opportunities that await us. I will continue to keep you updated on important developments and the latest news taking place here at the Capitol.

It is an honor to serve you in the Senate.

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Take My Tax Survey!

California’s state and local governments collect about $250 billion in taxes every year, $6,000-plus per Californian.

California’s sales tax is the highest in the nation. Gas taxes are the second highest. The Golden State’s business tax climate ranks as third-worst. California has the highest median housing prices in the country.

These taxes take a big bite out of California family and small business pockets. The working class and businesses are being driven from California by high costs and are seeking opportunity in more affordable states.

Federal tax changes might lower the nation’s overall tax burden but it remains to be seen if the national reforms will raise or lower Californians’ taxes.

Do you think California’s taxes are too high? To make sure your voice is heard and your ideas understood, please take the time to answer this tax-related survey. Your opinion is important. If you have any questions or need additional information, please call my Constituent Service Center in Granite Bay at (916) 771-5840 or in Redding at (530) 224-7001.

I appreciate your participation!

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Operation Gobble

Senator Gaines distributes Thanksgiving turkeys to Gary Burt (left) and Byron Butler (right) with Twin Lakes Food Bank.
Senator Gaines distributes Thanksgiving turkeys to Gary Burt (left) and Byron Butler (right) with Twin Lakes Food Bank.

‘Tis the season for giving, and what better way to celebrate the Thanksgiving holiday than by giving turkeys to those in need. I was proud to partner with California American Water, Golden State Water Company and Save Mart Supermarket for the 27th annual “Operation Gobble” program - an event that provided 200 fresh Thanksgiving turkeys to local non-profits in the Sacramento area. I’m so proud to be associated with this event that delivered a Thanksgiving meal to local families who may have otherwise gone without.

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2018 Legislative Priorities

Last legislative session I tried to even the scale between taxpayers and government and made one last effort to kill the illegal fire tax.

Have you ever noticed that whenever taxpayers make an honest mistake, they pay the price, but when government messes up they get off without any consequences at all? That’s not fair, and it’s why I introduced legislation that would have given the taxpayer the benefit of the doubt when State Board of Equalization (BOE) computer failures make it impossible to file business taxes in a timely manner.

BOE computers have crashed multiple times in the past few years, and taxpayers who file late as a result have a drawn-out process to get back any penalties that result from their late payments. This bill would have simply eliminated that process and automatically made the faultless taxpayer whole. The bill was not successful, and overregulated California businesses will continue to be guilty until proven innocent in the eyes of state government.

I also introduced one final bill to eliminate the unlawful and anti-rural fire tax. The fire tax ultimately was suspended — not eliminated — as a result of another larger and much worse bill for our citizens. The Howard Jarvis Taxpayers Association is still litigating the original fire tax, and I hope they are successful in court.

I’ll be back this session with some ideas to help families and businesses thrive by simplifying our tax system and will also be looking at a public safety issue that has been troubling me.

And please remember, I am open to legislative ideas, thoughts and suggestions and I encourage you to email them to me for consideration at senator.gaines@senate.ca.gov. Let me hear from you!

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Meeting With Community Leaders

Senator Gaines flips pancakes and visits with community leaders during his breakfast event in Redding.
Senator Gaines flips pancakes and visits with community leaders during his breakfast event in Redding.

Thanks to the local community and elected officials who came out to my Annual Community Leaders Breakfast events. I look forward to these events each year as a valuable opportunity learn about issues of concern throughout my district and to share an update on what’s taking place at the Capitol.

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Legislative Report Cards

Every fall after the legislative session comes to an end, many associations put together an analysis on legislator votes in order to hold them accountable for their actions and to inform their members how lawmakers represented them on key issues. I am proud to report I have received high ratings from several associations representing California taxpayers and businesses.

I earned an “A” grade for the 11th year in a row on the Howard Jarvis Taxpayers Association’s 2017 Legislative Scorecard, which grades lawmakers on their votes on issues important to taxpayers. Founded by Proposition 13 architect and taxpayer advocate Howard Jarvis, the taxpayers association is the most respected and influential tax-fighting organization in California.

The California Manufacturing & Technology Association (CMTA) named me a “Champion of Manufacturing” on their 2017 Manufacturing Vote Record. CMTA represents 400 businesses from the entire manufacturing community - an economic sector that generates more than $230 billion every year and employs more than 1.2 million Californians.

On the California Chamber of Commerce’s (CalChamber) 2017 Legislative Vote Record, I was one of only 10 state legislators out of the 120 Assembly and Senate members to receive a perfect score. The CalChamber is a non-profit organization representing more than 14,000 companies of all sizes.

I am honored to stand with these organizations in the fight against the over-spending crisis that plagues Sacramento. As a business owner myself, I know the hurdles and burdens hardworking taxpayers face every day. California should be creating opportunities for individuals and businesses to thrive, not stifling their growth with excessive taxes and onerous regulations.

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Congratulations Kevin Hanley

Senator Gaines presents a Senate Resolution to Kevin Hanley.
Senator Gaines presents a Senate Resolution to Kevin Hanley.

I recently presented a Senate Resolution to Kevin Hanley for his many years of hard work, dedication and service to the Auburn community. Kevin is a former Mayor of Auburn, former Auburn City Councilman and former CEO of the Auburn Chamber of Commerce. This was a well-deserved recognition!

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Oust The Tax Pirates If You Want Change, CA

From the car and gas tax to new mandates and fees for real estate transactions, the supermajority was determined during the 2017 legislative session to make it even more expensive for families to live in California. I penned an op-ed published in the Redding Record Searchlight detailing the supermajority’s assault on the pocketbooks of California’s families through their bad policies.

Excerpted op-ed:

The California Legislature has descended into policy madhouse where decisions defy every bit of fiscal and economic common sense and serve to put working class people in the poorhouse. … In a state with the highest poverty level in the nation, legislators inexplicably set out to make absolutely everything more expensive. … California already has some of the highest gas taxes in the country, so what do the legislative Democrats do? They start by imposing a new gas and car registration tax, which added 12 cents to every gallon of gasoline starting Nov. 1, and increases vehicle registration fees by $25-175 per car. And that 12-cent tax will go up starting in 2021, adjusted for inflation, forever and ever. … California seems as though it has many problems — budget deficits, unfunded pensions, bad roads, high taxes — but it really has just one: Politicians. Until Sacramento’s tax-and-spend pirates change their ways, it’s higher taxes from here on out.

Click here to read my entire op-ed in The Redding Record Searchlight.

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Cash For College Workshop In Redding

Starting October 1 through the March 2 Cal Grant deadline, students and families can attend FREE Cash for College workshops across California for help completing the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA).

The workshops are to help low-income and first generation college-goers complete the application process so they can access financial aid for education and career/technical training beyond high school.

Below are the details on an upcoming Cash for College workshop taking place in my Senate District.

Date:

January 25, 2018

Time:

5:30-7:30 PM

Where:

Phoenix Charter Academy
2195 Larkspur Lane, Suite 100, Redding, CA 96002

Contact:

Lynn Weidenkeller, lweidenkeller@ourpca.org, 530-222-9275

Click here to search for a workshop near you.

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