Parsky Aimin’ to Bushwhack His Tax Reform Panel


johnwayne[3:45 pm update] Whoa there!  We just got sent a document titled “Revenues From Development of California Oil Reserves” which is not on the agenda, is not in the proposed tax package and is not on the commission’s web site. It doesn’t say who it came from although it is likely the result of a request by commissioner Michael Boskin of Hoover Institution and — note this — a member of the board of Exxon Mobil (psst was this disclosed?).

It begins:

Proposal: The state should permit additional offshore oil leases, under strict environmental safeguards, with royalty revenues going to a reserve fund to be used for specific limited purposes.

Rationale: The development of additional oil resources would expand the domestic oil supply, while providing tens of billion of dollars of revenue to the state over a number of years.

[3 pm update below] Gerald Parsky, the Republican bigwig appointed by the governor to run the Commission on the 21st Century Economy, has broken his promise to have proposed legislation available for public review 72 hours before the commission meets Thursday in LA.

The materials weren’t even available 48 hours before Thursday’s 11 a.m. meeting. [UPDATE: A batch of documents, including some draft legislation, were posted on the commission’s site and sent to fellow commissioners at about 12:20 pm on Wednesday — less than 24 hours before the meeting where commissioners are expected to consider completely restructuring California’s taxes.] So what does that mean — besides being a violation of the Brown Bagley-Keene Open Meeting Act? It means Parsky is planning to do exactly what Calbuzz warned against: after leadin’ the commission down a box canyon, he’s aimin’ to bushwhack ‘em.

Hey pilgrim — you don’t get to propose a wholesale restructuring of the California tax code without giving the public – and your fellow commissioners — a chance to study the proposals. Who do you think you are — some arrogant, Nixonian gasbag who can run roughshod over the rest of us?

Here’s a more reasoned — less angry — critique by Timm Herdt in the Ventura County Star.

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There are 3 comments for this post

  1. avatar jskdn says:

    “Here’s a more reasoned — less angry — critique”

    That’s a pretty low bar to get above.

    “Rainy-day fund sees revival in tax commission talks” in the Sac Bee blogs says what I’ve maintained since the Commission was formed; it’s a spending problem. Whether for an individual or a government, if income is variable, spending needs to account for that. Duh! You might want to change methods of taxation for other reasons but it’s not a little ironic to cut progressive income taxation because the liberals who gave liberalism a bad name, capital “P” Progressives, can’t act like adults in their government spending proclivities.

  2. avatar Bill Bradley says:

    I remember having dinner with Gerry and a few other folks at Arianna’s house about 10 years ago.

    He’s a nice enough guy, but I would say that the whole transparency/democracy thing is not entirely his bag …

    Unless he and Arnold have come to a sudden understanding that you can’t lower rates for rich people in the midst of a horrible recession engineered by Wall Street shenanigans, this is the biggest non-starter in California political history.

  3. avatar HBJ says:

    Along with a number of progressive groups, I’ve been following this Commission’s work quite closely over the past several months. Schwarzenegger appointee and Chair, Gerald Parsky has been running it like it’s his little fiefdom, ignoring the rules and its supposed “non-partisan” work. In fact, I just finished a post on it at http://www.speakoutca.org
    which gives a basic explanation of what the Governor and Parsky think is “fair.” It includes a huge giveaway to the ultra-wealthy through a “flat tax”, an untested hybrid of a value-added tax and an end to all corporate taxes in California. But now, less than 24 hours before this debacle is set to be heard, we have an Exxon Board of Directors and right-wing Heritage Foundation member throwing into the mix creating new oil leases along our state’s pristine coastline?

    These right-wingers are so arrogant and devoid of any appreciation for the democratic process, public input and the need to follow the rules that they think they can get away with anything, including a full-on ambush of a Commission tasked with the serious responsibility of reforming California’s out-dated and highly volatile tax system.
    Whether you support oil drilling or not, this is NOT the American way of doing business…..unless of course you’re an oil company and think we’re always going to go to war for you as well!

    Do they really believe that after this ploy, the Legislature is going to take Mr. Parsky’s report very seriously.

    While we need real tax reform in California, it is clear that this kind of heavy-handed approach only makes a mockery of the process.

    —– Original Message

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