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Gray Davis to illegally triple the CA car tax without a 2/3 vote

Citing California's $38.2 billion budget deficit, state finance officials on June 20 "pulled the trigger" to return the VLF to its 1998 level for at least a year.

The 1998 state budget, signed by Republican Gov. Pete Wilson as the dot-com boom began filling state coffers, phased in a lowering of the license fee. But it included a provision allowing the fee to be restored if the state had "insufficient moneys." In that event, the state could "pull the trigger."

With the trigger now pulled, California drivers whose vehicle registration expires on Oct. 1 and thereafter stand to pay triple the fees motorists now pay, or an average $160 more per car, according to state officials. Likewise, those who buy motor vehicles from Oct. 1 on will be affected -- paying a VLF that amounts to 2 percent of what they paid for a vehicle.

Not surprisingly, Republican lawmakers and taxpayer activists have blasted the VLF increase and are working feverishly to derail it. Advocates for cities and counties have cheered the fee hike because revenues go to the jurisdictions, many of them facing their own budget crises.

Even though the fee percentage in the revised VLF will be no higher than it was five years ago, its restoration has provided political ammunition to Rescue California, the group leading the effort to recall Gov. Gray Davis. Rescue California spokesman Chris Wysocki said a million-piece mailing before the VLF was restored prompted 150,000 signatures on recall petitions. A mailing of identical size after the VLF announcement produced nearly 250,000 signatures.

I'm not excited to pay more in taxes in any form, but let's at least make sure that our accusations are accurate, heh?

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