The Golden “Nanny” State Wants $6.2 Billion in New Taxes | Citizens Against Government Waste
The WasteWatcher: The Staff Blog of Citizens Against Government Waste

The Golden “Nanny” State Wants $6.2 Billion in New Taxes

The WasteWatcher is the staff blog of Citizens Against Government Waste (CAGW) and the Council for Citizens Against Government Waste (CCAGW). For questions, contact blog@cagw.org.


California state legislators have a solution to fulfill Gov. Gavin Newsom’s bloated $209 billion budget: tax anything and everything under the sun.

Taking more money from taxpayers should not be a surprise from the state with the highest income tax in the country.  Just last year, California lawmakers proposed to reverse the positive economic gains from the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act by forcing companies making more than $1 million to give half of their federal tax cut back to fund state programs.  But proposals in the 2019-2020 legislative session mark a new level of tax craziness in the Golden State.

According to the California Tax Foundation, state lawmakers have introduced more than $6.2 billion in new taxes and fees in just the first few months of the session.  If the total price tag, which will significantly rise once “spot bills” are amended with additional costs, does not get your blood boiling, then what legislators plan to tax surely will.  Legislative proposals include taxes and fees on soda, batteries, painkillers, telephones, new tires, school parcels, EBT transactions, notary registrations, and much, much more.

The tax on soda and other sweetened beverages, AB 138, is a particularly ill-advised proposal.  This legislation is the third attempt by Democratic Assemblyman Richard Bloom to enact a fee of two cents per ounce on sugary drinks.  If Assemblyman Bloom cannot take a hint from the failure of regressive soda taxes in states like Illinois, Pennsylvania, and Washington, perhaps he should look to his own colleagues.  On April 9, 2019, Democratic Assemblyman David Chiu scrapped his bill that would have banned the sale of jumbo-sized, or “Big Gulp,” sodas, just before the measure had its first committee vote.

Another ludicrous proposal would force drivers on Lombard Street, San Francisco’s famous crooked road, to pay a toll and even book reservations to drive down the road.  More than 2 million tourists visit Lombard Street each year and locals already complain about the traffic jams.  Imagine the nightmare it would be to have swaths of people waiting on toll booths just to drive down a street.

The last thing Californians need right now are more taxes and more government intervention in their everyday lives.  These paternalistic proposals signal that California continues to ignore their constituents, as it barrels toward becoming the ultimate nanny state.  Golden State taxpayers need to let their legislators know that new taxes in any way, shape, or form are dead on arrival.

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