With prices at the pump heading back up, news of a cut to the state’s gas tax will surely cheer California drivers.

On February 24, the State Board of Equalization approved a 6 cent per gallon cut to the state’s gas tax. The change, which will take effect July 1, is based on a complicated formula enacted by the Legislature in 2010.

While California drivers will surely welcome news of a cut, there are some who would rather see gas taxes go up. They think you should be sending more dollars, not fewer, to Sacramento.

But let’s be honest, government already has more than enough of your dollars. Californians pay about 64 cents per gallon in taxes and fees – the second-highest rate in the nation. In reality, we have the nation’s highest gas tax once you include the new hidden gas tax imposed by regulators to help fund the state’s anti-global-warming efforts.

Californians must even pay taxes on their taxes. That’s double taxation – and it’s wrong.

California’s gas tax is so confusing and complicated that even news reporters don’t understand it. Recent media reports have painted an incomplete and misleading picture of state gas tax revenues. One story erroneously claimed that “state gas tax revenues that pay for roads have been falling for a decade.”

The truth is that while consumption has slipped somewhat, California’s revenues from gas and diesel sales have grown in nine of the past 10 fiscal years. California’s fuel tax revenues have grown nearly every year.

During the past 10 fiscal years, sales and excise tax revenues from fuel sales grew by nearly 35 percent – from $6.5 billion to a record $8.7 billion.

Breaking these numbers down, gas-tax-related revenues grew from $5.5 billion to a record $7.4 billion, while diesel-tax-related revenues rose from $1 billion to a record $1.3 billion between fiscal year 2004-05 and 2013-14.

California doesn’t need higher taxes; instead we need a simpler gas tax that is easy to understand and administer. And, most importantly, we need to ensure our gas tax dollars are invested wisely and cost-effectively, rather than wasted on bureaucracy and bullet trains.

The gas tax used to be straightforward. A sticker on the gas pump told consumers how much they were paying in federal and state taxes. The revenue collected paid for vital transportation needs, like improving roads and highways.

Unfortunately, revenue-hungry politicians starting raiding the state’s unprotected transportation fund in order to plug budget holes or fund their pet projects. Voters responded by passing Propositions 42 and 1A, in an effort to stop the Legislature from stealing transportation dollars.

In 2010, legislators got creative and had their budget wonks devise a bizarrely complex system that would allow them to grab a billion dollars from the highway fund.

Dubbed the “fuel tax swap,” the new law raised the excise tax while lowering sales tax on gas purchases. To guard against revenue loss, the law required the state Board of Equalization to annually adjust the state’s excise tax rate.

One thing is certain: California consumers have no idea who is determining the state’s gas tax rates or why. They also don’t know where their money is being spent or why California has the worst roads in the nation when we’re paying the most in taxes.

Following Oregon’s lead, the California Legislature has ordered Caltrans to create a “Road Usage Charge Pilot Program” to be implemented in 2017. The goal of the program is to study mileage-based alternatives to the gas tax.

At first blush, a mileage tax might seem simpler and fairer. But do we really want government officials to know where we’ve been and how many miles we drive each year? I don’t know about you, but I don’t want a government auditor in my car.

Taxes should be simple and clear. Unfortunately, in California “tax reform” is nearly always code for taking more of people’s money to grow government.

So while Californians may deserve a simpler tax system, I’m not holding my breath we’ll get one anytime soon.
George Runner represents more than nine million Californians as a taxpayer advocate and elected member of the State Board of Equalization (boe.ca.gov/Runner).

 


 

The City is in the process of visiting various senior centers throughout Ventura County, senior housing facilities and attending senior events to gather residents’ comments and other valuable information on ways to enhance Fillmore’s Active Adult community’s experience at the Senior Center.

• Staff has identified over 75 new programs to incorporate over time into the senior center’s programming covering the following areas - arts and crafts, music, leisure activities, education, health, and performances by outside groups.

• Staff is reviewing proposals to make improvements to the facility’s restrooms.

• City Council will consider at its February 24th meeting, the creation and establishment of an Active Adult Commission. The Commission will make recommendations on the best way to operate the Senior Center to maximize its usage to the greatest extent possible among other items.

• Public meetings are being scheduled in March to receive additional feedback from the active adult community on the programs and services they would like to see offered.

• The City is considering rebranding the Senior Center to represent our vibrant, diverse and active adult community.

The City enjoys working with everyone as we move forward with enhancing the Senior Center and continuing to show everyone why Fillmore is the “Last Best Small Town.”

 


 
City of Fillmore
City of Fillmore

CITY OF FILLMORE CITY COUNCIL & SUCCESSOR AGENCY AGENDA

SPECIAL MEETING

SATURDAY, JANUARY 31, 2015
12:00 P.M.

AMENDED TO REFLECT THE DAY OF WEEK (SATURDAY)

FILLMORE CITY HALL
CENTRAL PARK PLAZA
250 CENTRAL AVENUE
FILLMORE, CALIFORNIA 93015-1907
(805) 524-3701 • www.fillmoreca.com

WELCOME TO THE CITY OF FILLMORE CITY COUNCIL MEETING! Your participation at this public meeting is valued and appreciated. Please note the City Council and Successor Agency convene concurrently.

Agenda/Packet: The Agenda/Packet is available for review at Fillmore City Hall and online at www.fillmoreca.com/cityhall/agendas 72 hours before the scheduled meeting (but generally available the Thursday prior to the scheduled Tuesday meeting). Materials related to an item on this agenda submitted to the City Council/Successor Agency after distribution of the agenda packet are available for public inspection in the City Clerk’s Office during regular business hours and on the City’s website subject to staff’s ability to post the documents before the meeting.

Americans with Disabilities Act: In compliance with the ADA, if you need special assistance to participate in this meeting or other services in conjunction with this meeting, please contact the City Clerk’s Office at 534-3701. Notification 48 hours prior to the meeting will enable the City to make reasonable arrangements to ensure accessibility to this meeting. (28 CFR 35.102-35.104 ADA Title II)

Audible Devices: Please ensure all audible devices (pagers, telephones, etc.) are off or otherwise not audible when the City Council/SA is in session. Thank you.

Challenging City Council/Successor Agency Decisions: Any legal action by an applicant seeking to obtain a judicial review of the City Council/Successor Agency’s decision on a hearing or issue listed on this Agenda may be subject to the 90-day filing period of, and governed by, Code of Civil Procedure § 1094.6. Additionally, if you challenge the actions of the City Council/Successor Agency in court, you may be limited to raising only those issues you or someone else raised at the public hearing described in the public notice, or in written correspondence delivered to the City Council/Successor Agency at, or prior to, the public hearing pursuant to California Government Code § 65009.

Consent Calendar: Items listed on the Consent Calendar are considered to be routine in nature, not discussed individually, and are normally approved by one motion. If a Councilmember or member of the public wishes to comment on a particular item, that item shall be removed for separate action.

No New Business will be considered by the City Council/Successor Agency after 11:30 p.m. unless a majority of the legislative body determines to continue.

Public Input; If you wish to address the Council/Successor Agency regarding an item listed on this agenda, please complete and submit an Audience Participation Form to the City Clerk prior to consideration of that agenda item. Public Comments is the time for presentations/comments not on this agenda but within the subject-matter jurisdiction of the City Council/Successor Agency. Please complete and submit an Audience Participation Form to the City Clerk prior to the beginning of Public Comments. Pursuant to California Government Code/Brown Act, the City Council/ Successor Agency ordinarily cannot take action on any item that is not listed on the agenda. As a result, matters identified during Public Comment will be referred to staff for follow-up or considered on a future agenda. In accordance with Resolution No. 09-3175, speakers are provided five (5) minutes for items listed on the agenda and no more than five (5) minutes to speak during Public Comments. Please stay within the time allotment indicated by the Mayor.

Replay Schedule: City Council/SA meetings will be re-broadcast on Channel 10 daily at 6:00 p.m.

FILLMORE CITY COUNCIL & SUCCESSOR AGENCY
SPECIAL MEETING AGENDA
SATURDAY, JANUARY 31, 2015 - 12:00 P.M.
COUNCIL CHAMBERS – CITY HALL

1. Call to Order:

2. Pledge of Allegiance

3. Roll Call: Council/Successor Agency members Rick Neal, Manuel Minjares, Carrie Broggie, Vice Chair/Mayor Pro Tem Diane McCall and Chair/Mayor Douglas Tucker

4. Approval of Agenda

5. Public Comments
Pursuant to Government Code § 54954.3(a), Only Issues Listed on This Agenda Shall Be Heard During this Special Meeting.

6. New Business

A. Strategic Planning Session – Win/Win Solutions

7. Committee, Commission, and Board Reports

8. City Council Reports, Recommendations, and Comments

A. City Councilmember Brief Reports

B. Any Councilmember May Propose Items for Placement on Future Agenda

9. Adjournment: Mayor adjourns this meeting to the next City Council meeting scheduled for February 10, 2015 at 6:30 p.m. at City Hall, 250 Central Avenue.

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

Amended Agenda Posted: January 27, 2015, 12:00 p.m.

 

PIRU NEIGHBORHOOD COUNCIL MEETING
PO BOX 162, 802 0rchard Street, PIRU Community Center- 805-521-1333
Wednesday January 21, 2015 7:00 P.M.

AGENDA
Call to order:
Pledge of Allegiance
Roll call:
OFFICERS
President: Tim Cohen Vice President: Lupe Hurtado Secretary: Yvonne Gonzalez
Treasurer: Jazmin Gonzalez Ways and Means: Julieanne Lugo
Approval of Agenda: January 2015 Approval of November 2014 Minutes
Crime Report: Bryan Sliva
Fire Safety Report: Fred Ponce
New Business:

A. Skate Park hours of operation and lighting

B. Cabrillo Bridge View Apartment Appeal February 03, 2015 @1:30pm

C. Piru Youth Sports

Old Business
A. Holiday Parade/ Food Basket/Toys for Tots
B. Lake Piru Recreation Area
C. Ventura County Planning Commission- Kim Prillhart -
i. The CUP process and how the Planning Division and the PNC work together
ii. DCOR – the recommendation for approval from the PNC.- Withdrew Application

Treasurer’s report
A. PNC Account Balance $2435.14
B. Scholarship fund Balance is $70.00
C. Skate Piru $1138.00

Public comments:

Next Meeting: Wednesday February 18, 2015 @ 7pm Meeting adjourned:

 

On January 13, 2015, Ventura County Supervisor Kathy Long, was elected unanimously by her peers on the 5-member County Board of Supervisors to serve as the 2015 Chair of the Board. This is the 4th time that Supervisor Long has served as Chair since she was elected in 1997.

“I am honored to be named as Chair of the Board for 2015, said Supervisor Kathy Long, “as Chair,I believe there are opportunities this next year for us tobuild upon the strength of our County”. Kathy Long plans to outline her vision for 2015 at the January 27th Board meeting, “I will be proposing an initiative that will engage the diversity of the County’s public service responsibilities to promote health, equity and sustainability which will help advance economic stability, public safety and the well-being ofall County residents”.

Kathy Long represents the Third District which includes the areas of Camarillo, Port Hueneme, South Oxnard, East Oxnard Plain, Santa Paula, Fillmore, Piru, East Lockwood Valley, and Eastern Portion of Naval Base Ventura County Port Hueneme.

 

Ventura, CA – Ventura County Clerk Recorder/Registrar of Voters Mark Lunn announced today the final election results for the November 4, 2014 Gubernatorial General Election with 100% of precincts reporting.

A total of 203,783 ballots were cast in this election. 58.45%of the ballots were cast by mail and41.55% were cast at the 278 polling places located throughout Ventura County. Final results for this election revealed a 47.06% voter turnout.

California Law allows 28 days (December 2, 2014) after Election Day for the County Registrar of Voters to certify election results. This election was certified in 20 days. Over the last four years, the Elections Division conducted a record 17 elections, all of which were certified priorto the State deadline.

Additional information is available at the Elections Division website http://venturavote.org or by calling the Elections Division at 654-2664.

 

Ventura, CA – Ventura County ClerkRecorder/Registrar of Voters Mark Lunn announced today that Vote By Mail ballots for the November 4, 2014 Gubernatorial General Election will be available beginning Monday, October 6, 2014. All voters have the option to vote by mail. This method allows voters to vote from home at their convenience and return their ballot by mail.

Lunn stated, “Voters can request their Vote By Mail ballotbeginning on October 6, 2014 and are encouraged to return voted ballots as soon as possible.Ballotsshould be mailed by the Tuesday before the election (October 28) to ensure on-time delivery.”

Vote By Mail ballots will be delivered to post offices on Monday, October 6, 2014. Voters who are not on the permanent Vote By Mail ballot list and want to vote by mail should complete and return the application on the back of the Sample Ballot booklet or on the Elections Division website http://venturavote.org. Voters can apply for permanent Vote By Mail status by submitting a permanent Vote By Mail voter application that can be found on the website on the Forms menu. Voters may also apply in person at the Ventura County Elections Division no later than Tuesday, October 28, 2014. The website contains important voter information that can be accessed from any electronic device with an Internet connection.

Voters may also cast their vote at the Elections Division beginning Monday, October 6, 2014. Completed Vote By Mail ballots may be dropped off before Election Day at the Elections Division or in the 24-hour ballot drop off box located in front of the Hall of Administration at the Government Center. Ballots may also be dropped off at any local City Hall during their business hours, starting October 7, 2014 through Election Day.All voted ballots must be returned to any Ventura County polling place or to the Elections Division by 8:00 p.m. on Election Day, November 4, 2014.

Additional information is available on the Elections Division website http://venturavote.org or by calling the Elections Division at 654-2664.

 
Democratic incumbent Julia Brownley and Republican challenger Jeff Gorell will square off in a public forum Sunday, Oct. 12

Camarillo, CA - CSU Channel Islands (CI) will host the first public debate between the candidates for California’s 26th District seat in the U.S. House of Representatives on Sunday, Oct. 12, from 6 to 7:30 p.m. in the Grand Salon. Pre-registration is encouraged at https://csuci.wufoo.com/forms/candidate-forum-for-congressional-district....

Sponsored jointly by the League of Women Voters of Ventura County, the Ventura County Star and CI, the public forum offers voters the opportunity to hear from Democratic incumbent Julia Brownley and Republican challenger Jeff Gorell in one of the nation’s most closely watched and hotly contested congressional races.

The event is designed to encourage public participation, with debate topics driven by the audience. Candidates will make opening and closing remarks and answer questions submitted in writing by audience members.

“It will be their only opportunity to see the candidates meet face to face, and in modern campaigns that are driven by slick advertising and mailers that are largely hysterical and hyberbolic, this will be an opportunity to get a measure of the candidates in an authentic setting,” said Ventura County Star State Bureau Chief Timm Herdt, the debate’s moderator.

Brownley (D-Westlake Village) won the seat in 2012 with 52.7 percent of the votes. With fewer Democratic voters predicted to head to the polls for the Nov. 4 midterm election, the race between Brownley and Gorell, a Republican assemblyman from Camarillo, is shaping up to be highly competitive.

“This will be a low turnout election as there is no presidential race, the governor’s race is not competitive, and there are no ballot propositions that will drive people to the polls,” said Professor Scott Frisch, Chair of CI’s Political Science program. “In close elections like this, a debate performance can make or break a candidate, particularly if one candidate commits a gaffe or appears not up to the task.”

In addition to helping voters learn more about the candidates, the on-campus debate presents an opportunity for CI students – many of whom will be voting for the first time in this election – to participate in the political process. Student government volunteers are working with the League of Women Voters to register voters on campus and will help gather questions from the audience during the debate.

“The League of Women Voters of Ventura County is very pleased to be a co-sponsor of the upcoming forum when voters will learn first-hand about the candidates' views on a number of important issues,” said League Co-President Barbara Doyle. “The League's core mission is to educate voters so that each of us can make an informed decision before voting. CI, the only public university in Ventura County, is the ideal venue for this forum, as its students will become our future leaders. It is vitally important for them, and for all voters, to see just how important it is to study the issues and then take action by voting."

Pre-registration is encouraged at https://csuci.wufoo.com/forms/candidate-forum-for-congressional-district.... Parking is complimentary. Once on campus, follow signs to the designated lot.

About California State University Channel Islands
CSU Channel Islands (CI) is the only four-year, public university in Ventura County and is known for its interdisciplinary, multicultural and international perspectives, and its emphasis on experiential and service learning. CI’s strong academic programs focus on business, sciences, liberal studies, teaching credentials, and innovative master’s degrees. Students benefit from individual attention, up-to-date technology, and classroom instruction augmented by outstanding faculty research. CI has been designated by the U.S. Department of Education as a Hispanic-Serving Institution and is committed to serving students of all backgrounds from the region and beyond. Connect with and learn more about CI by visiting CI’s Social Media.

 

This weekend California Governor Jerry Brown vetoed the Drone Privacy Protection Act of 2014, landmark legislation that established statewide restrictions on local and state government use of surveillance drones. AB 1327 was chief authored by Assemblyman Jeff Gorell (R-Camarillo) and joint authored by Assemblyman Steven Bradford (D- Gardena), Assemblyman Bill Quirk (D-Hayward), and Senator Ted Lieu (D-Torrance).

“I am very disappointed by this democratic Governor’s decision to veto a bill that provided commonsense protections to protect privacy rights and civil liberties,” said Jeff Gorell, a Commander in the U.S. Navy. “We live in an era of government surveillance, where powerful government agencies like the NSA and IRS have demonstrated blatant disregard for Americans’ privacy rights. In Congress, I will make personal privacy a top priority and work on establishing common sense drone restrictions that California failed to establish.”

AB 1327 required law enforcement agencies to obtain a warrant except in specified situations, such as exigent circumstances (hostage situations, “hot pursuit,” search and rescue, etc.), firefighting, and responding to environmental disasters (chemical/oil spills). AB 1327 also prohibited the weaponization of drones, required agencies intending to use drones to provide public notice, and required drone-collected images to be destroyed within 1 year.

AB 1327 endorsements include Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti, Los Angeles Times, San Jose Mercury News, Ventura County Star, and Sacramento Bee. Additionally, over 40 constitutional law professors from across the nation urged Governor Brown to sign AB 1327 into law. Erwin Chemerinksy, a prominent constitutional scholar and founding dean of UC Irvine School of Law, also supported the bill and penned an opinion editorial explaining why AB 1327 needs to become the law.

The Federal Aviation Administration has been mandated by Congress and the President to integrate drones into the national airspace by 2015. An estimated 20,000 drones are expected to fill the nation’s skies by 2020. AB 1327 was the only drone privacy protection bill that passed out of the Legislature to the Governor.

 

Camarillo, CA – Assemblyman Jeff Gorell (R-Camarillo) today congratulated Frank Lima of Camarillo, who has been appointed to the California State Board of Fire Services by California Governor Jerry Brown.

“Frank has always been a champion in support of our California firefighters,” stated Assemblyman Gorell. “Additionally, he is also a highly respected leader in the local community and participates in numerous family and student activities in support of scholastic sports programs. I am very happy that the Governor chose to appoint Frank Lima to this important state board.”

Lima is a fire captain at the Los Angeles Fire Department, where he has served in several positions since 1992, including brush inspector, apparatus operator and firefighter. He is president of the United Firefighters of Los Angeles City, Council District 8, vice president of the California Professional Firefighters, and a member of the Los Angeles County Federation of Labor Executive Board.

 
Jacqui Irwin and Rob McCoy
Jacqui Irwin and Rob McCoy
Enlarge Photo
Irwin, McCoy to speak in advance of Assembly election

THOUSAND OAKS, CA - The two candidates vying to represent Ventura County in the California Assembly will debate on Saturday, Oct. 11, at California Lutheran University.

The event presented by the Acorn Newspapers and Cal Lutheran will be held from 3 to 4:30 p.m. in Gilbert Arena on the Thousand Oaks campus. It is free and open to the public.

Thousand Oaks Councilwoman Jacqui Irwin, a Democrat, and Thousand Oaks pastor Rob McCoy, a Republican, are running for the 44th Assembly District seat in the Nov. 4 election. The district includes most of Ventura County including Camarillo, Oxnard, Moorpark, Port Hueneme, Thousand Oaks, Westlake Village and parts of Simi Valley.

Cal Lutheran political science professor Herb Gooch and Thousand Oaks Acorn Editor Kyle Jorrey will ask their own questions and solicit additional questions from the audience.

The event will be streamed live at ustream.tv/channel/cal-lutheran.

The arena is located in the Gilbert Sports and Fitness Center at 130 Overton Court.

For more information, contact Gooch at gooch@callutheran.edu or 805-493-3348.

 

Thousand Oaks, CA – Working with tens of thousands of volunteers across the state for the fifth consecutive year, Assemblyman Jeff Gorell (R-Camarillo) proudly participated in the California Coastal Cleanup Day, organizing “Team Gorell” in an effort to clean up Arroyo Conejo Creek in Newbury Park. Since 2009, Assemblyman Gorell has been an advocate for the annual event, choosing a Ventura County coastal or riparian park and spending the day cleaning up trash that accumulates from the past year’s public use.

“Coastal Cleanup Day is a way of reminding people that the parks we use for recreation and for appreciating the natural beauty of coastal California are part of a fragile environment,” stated Assemblyman Gorell. “We take great pride in our community and this is a small way of giving back and maintaining it for the future.”

In this year’s efforts, Team Gorell brought 30 volunteers to Arroyo Conejo Creek in Newbury Park. These volunteers spent the day picking up and carting off 60 bags of assorted garbage left behind by previous park visitors.

Every year, on the third Saturday in September, people join together at sites all over California to take part in the State's largest volunteer event, California Coastal Cleanup Day. In 2013, over 58,000 volunteers removed almost 750,000 pounds of trash and recyclables from California's beaches, lakes, and waterways. Families, friends, coworkers, scout troops, school groups, service clubs, and individuals come together to celebrate and share their appreciation of California's special coast and waterways.

 

Los Angeles, CA – At a public event today at Fire Station 88 in Los Angeles, the mayor of Los Angeles Eric Garcetti joined Assemblyman Jeff Gorell (R-Camarillo), Assemblyman Matt Dababneh (D-Encino), and Assemblyman Steven Bradford (D-Gardenia) calling on Governor Jerry Brown to sign Assembly Bill 1327, also known as the Drone Privacy Protection Act of 2014, which can be seen as a model for the rest of the country. The bill was passed by both houses of the state legislature with strong bipartisan support at the end of August, and is currently on the Governor’s desk awaiting his signature.

“The role of government is above all to serve and protect the people we represent, and we can’t do this without trust and transparency,” stated Mayor Eric Garcetti. “I am proud to support AB 1327, and I urge the governor to sign this bill.”

AB 1327 places strict restrictions on how government agencies may use drones in California. Law enforcement would be required to first get warrants before conducting surveillance, state and local agencies must publicly announce their intent to purchase and use drones, and data received from drones would be required to be destroyed after a set period of time.

The Federal Aviation Administration has been mandated to authorize and integrate drones into the airspace by 2015. It is estimated that over 20,000 drones will fill the nation’s skies within the next decade.

“The future of aviation is unmanned,” stated Assemblyman Jeff Gorell, who authored the legislation. “As we prepare for this next generation and new frontier, we must ensure all Californians that the state has put forth guidelines to protect their civil liberties and privacy rights.”

AB 1327 received broad bipartisan support in the State Legislature and has been endorsed by Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti and a number of media outlets including The Los Angeles Times, San Jose Mercury News, Sacramento Bee, and Ventura County Star. Recently, 41 law professors from across the nation publicly announced their support for the bill, including Erwin Chemerinsky, the Founding Dean of the UC Irvine School of Law and a renowned constitutional law professor.

 

SACRAMENTO – George Runner has called upon California’s Department of Motor Vehicles to stop overcharging California consumers when they pay tax on their vehicle purchases.

Runner said, “It’s outrageous that the State of California expects private citizens to do things right that government is doing wrong.”

In a letter to DMV Director Jean Shiomoto, Runner writes: “I find it difficult to understand why your agency would knowingly continue to mischarge taxpayers when the Board of Equalization has developed an extremely accurate tool for determining tax rates at specific locations.”

The Board’s online tax rate lookup tool, launched in late 2013, enables taxpayers to find a sales tax rate for a specific address.

In his letter, Runner explains that DMV’s problem appears to stem from continued reliance on postal zip codes to determine tax rates. Since a single zip code can include areas with differing tax rates, zip codes are not a reliable way to determine tax.

Runner estimates that in his district alone more than 2.5 million Californians live in zip codes that have more than one tax rate.

Unlike most transactions, the tax rate for a vehicle sale is based on the location provided to DMV by the registered owner, not where the sale took place.

In response to Runner’s letter, DMV staff contacted Runner’s office indicating a desire to address Runner’s concerns but warning a solution could be years away.

Runner said, “I am happy to assist taxpayers overcharged by DMV in obtaining refunds, but they should not be overcharged in the first place. I don’t want to hear excuses. I want to see change.”

Runner says he will be pursuing additional outreach to taxpayers in his district to alert them to the possibility that they are paying too much tax.

Elected in November 2010, George Runner represents more than nine million Californians as a member of the State Board of Equalization. For more information, visit www.boe.ca.gov/Runner.

FULL TEXT OF RUNNER LETTER

August 20, 2014

Ms. Jean Shiomoto, Director
Department of Motor Vehicles
2415 First Avenue, MS F101
Sacramento, CA 95818-2606

Dear Director Shiomoto:

I believe it is important for my constituents to have complete confidence they are paying the correct amount of tax. During my service on the Board of Equalization I have received a number of calls from constituents informing me they have been charged an incorrect amount of tax on vehicle sales by the Department of Motor Vehicles.

Sales and use tax rates vary widely across California and are subject to change over time. In addition to the statewide sales and use tax rate of 7.5 percent, there are many cities and counties that have voter approved local and district taxes. In the past, some retailers and the DMV have utilized zip codes to determine which tax rate to use. However, only using zip codes is not reliable in determining tax rates. Very few zip codes encompass entire municipalities, and zip codes are often split between cities and counties that employ different tax rates. When this occurs, a taxpayer living in one area of a zip code could pay a higher tax rate than another living in the same zip code.

Because more than 2.5 million taxpayers in my district live in these split zip codes, I requested the creation an online tool (https://maps.gis.ca.gov/boe/TaxRates/) that would allow taxpayers to easily pinpoint a location and receive the sales and use tax rate used at a specific address. The site also shows the entire area where a particular tax rate applies. The webpage is accessible, easy-to-use and accurate. The public uses it, but unfortunately, the DMV refuses to do so.

Last December, BOE staff initiated discussions with DMV staff regarding your department switching to the BOE’s Geographic Information Systems (GIS) tool to ensure accurate tax rates are being charged. However, after continued complaints from taxpayers, it is clear that DMV offices have failed to institute use of the BOE's tax rate lookup website to determine the correct amount of tax to charge. At my direction, both my office staff and BOE staff inquired further and were informed that DMV is not, and will not, be using the BOE GIS tool.

I find it difficult to understand why your agency would knowingly continue to mischarge taxpayers when the Board of Equalization has developed an extremely accurate tool for determining tax rates at specific locations. Use of this tool would cut down on refund requests from taxpayers, thereby saving time and money, and would instill confidence in taxpayers that state government is not collecting more tax than is required.

It is my hope that you will immediately direct your staff to begin using the BOE’s GIS tool. BOE management and IT staff are ready to assist the DMV with technical expertise, if necessary. If you would like to discuss the matter further, please feel free to contact me at 916-445-2181.

Sincerely,

GEORGE RUNNER
Second District

cc: Jerry Brown, Governor, State of California
Brian P. Kelly, Secretary, California State Transportation Agency
Cynthia Bridges, Executive Director, California State Board of Equalization
Andrew Conway, Chief, Registration Policy and Automation Branch, DMV

 

Sponsored by: Sen. George Runner (Ret.)
Member, California State Board of Equalization
Jerome E. Horton
Chairman, California State Board of Equalization

Event:
San Fernando Nonprofit Tax Seminar

Topics:
• Sales and Use Tax for Nonprofit Organizations
• Employment Taxes and Nonprofit Organizations
• Property Tax Exemptions
• Compliance for Exempt Organizations
• Regulation of Charities

Date/Time:
Wednesday, October 1, 2014
9:00 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. (check-in starts at 8:30 a.m.)

Location:
San Fernando Regional Pool Facility
208 Park Avenue
San Fernando, CA 91340

FREE PARKING
To register for this event go to:
www.boe.ca.gov/nps
Note - CE Credit: Continuing Education Credit is given for enrolled agents, CPAs, and tax practitioners who qualify. You must stay all day to receive the four credits.

 

CAMARILLO, CA - Statement by Jeff Gorell, candidate for California's 26th Congressional District, regarding Julia Brownley and the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee's recent television attack ad:

"It is very disappointing that Julia Brownley and her allies are engaging in a negative, misleading, and deceitful television campaign. Her team is clearly worried and noticing the trend: voters are overwhelmingly supporting Jeff Gorell over Julia Brownley," stated Gorell.

Brownley's attack ad is nothing more than a deceptive attempt to distract voters from Jeff's service to our community as a criminal prosecutor, two-time war veteran, and adjunct professor at California Lutheran University for 10 years.

It is very disappointing that Julia Brownley and her supporters resort to partisan scare tactics in an effort to hold on to power. Her congressional seat is vulnerable and voters are increasingly turning to Jeff Gorell as the candidate they know and one they can trust.

Gorell continued, "Julia Brownley has a history of resorting to attack ads. Her campaign is run by her Washington, DC allies and history tells us that she will continue to attack Republicans and Democrats that get in her way. Sadly, this behavior is very typical of Congress and a major reason why it has become one of the most unpopular institutions in America."

Brownley is not telling voters the truth. It is becoming increasingly important to set the record straight and distinguish between myth and actual fact regarding Jeff Gorell.

Myths: Facts:
Jeff Gorell is a lobbyist Jeff Gorell was never a registered lobbyist. For a few years, he was a media and community relations professional. This lie is an attempt to distract voters from the fact that Jeff Gorell is an active Commander in the Navy Reserve, two-time veteran of the War in Afghanistan, respected state legislator, former Deputy District Attorney and teacher at California Lutheran University.

Contributions to Assemblyman Gorell influenced his votes This notion is offensive. Jeff is an independent legislator who's votes were always in the best interest of his district and of the State of California. Julia also took money from the insurance industry while in the Assembly. In her current campaign, almost 90% of her contributions have been from outside of the district, and almost $500,000 is from special interests, lobbyists, and PAC's.
Jeff Gorell voted against women Jeff supports access and freedom of choice in women's healthcare. Jeff has a strong record of being an advocate for women while in Sacramento; including advocating and supporting the largest investment in child care and preschool education in California history, voting for the the expansion of MediCal to cover pregnant women, and providing tax incentives to ensure more funding goes towards breast cancer research.
Jeff Gorell would allow insurance companies to deny coverage for preexisting conditions. Jeff has consistently stated that preexisting conditions SHOULD be covered. (See below)

Jeff Gorell, a California State Legislator, is candidate for U.S. House of Representatives in the 26th Congressional District. A Navy Commander in the Reserve and third-generation Navy war veteran, Gorell most recently served in Afghanistan as an intelligence officer in support of Marine Corps forces in Helmand Province.

 

CAMARILLO, CA - Statement by Jeff Gorell, candidate for California's 26th Congressional District, regarding Conejo Valley Unified School District's local school bond Measure I:

"I'm proud today to announce my endorsement of the Conejo Valley Unified School District's proposed Measure I this November. Measure I will provide much needed upgrades and improvements to local classrooms, facilities, technology, and campus safety. This is an appropriate measure to support our local schools, which are some of the most high performing in the state. I ask Conejo Valley voters to support this measure in November."

Gorell's support for Measure I is consistent with his longstanding policies on education including his support for additional K-12 funding and common sense reforms.

 

Sacramento, CA – Landmark legislation to protect the public from unwarranted government surveillance today passed out of the California Legislature, and now heads to the desk of Governor Jerry Brown for his signature. Assembly Bill 1327 by Assemblyman Jeff Gorell (R-Camarillo) protects the privacy rights of Californians by establishing basic restrictions on the government use of unmanned aerial systems, also known as “drones”.

“Over the next decade drone technology will become much more common in California’s airspace,” stated Assemblyman Jeff Gorell. “There are tremendous benefits that can be realized from these tools, but only if we first pass the legislation that will protect our civil and privacy rights from abuses of the technology. As the tech capitol of the nation, California should also lead in protecting our privacy from intrusions by new technology.”

AB 1327 addresses privacy concerns by implementing strict warrant requirements for law enforcement agencies looking to utilize the technology, except in specified situations. It also mandates any government agency to provide public notice when it intends to use drones, requires drone-collected images and data to be destroyed within1 year, and prohibits the weaponization of drones. AB 1327 also makes clear that local jurisdictions can adopt even stricter rules than what are prescribed in the bill.

Drones are already being used in agriculture outside of the United States, and additional proposed civilian uses of the technology include cargo transport, communications, filmmaking, security, forestry and geology. Government agencies are currently planning to use drones for firefighting, emergency management, weather analysis, environmental monitoring, and utilities. Private companies such as UPS and Amazon.Com have also begun exploring how they can utilize drones commercially.

AB 1327 has been endorsed by Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti; the Los Angeles Times; and the San Jose Mercury News.

Governor Jerry Brown has until September 30th to sign or veto this legislation.

 

Sacramento, CA – The California State Legislature today agreed to a compromise state water bond measure to appear on the November ballot. The $7.5 billion package will replace the $11.1 billion bond proposal that was previously agreed to. Assemblyman Jeff Gorell (R-Camarillo), who serves as Vice-Chair of the Assembly Budget Committee and is a co-author of the new state water bond bill, SB 866, released the following statement commenting on the legislation:

“Providing reliable access to water during an extended drought is one of the most important issues Sacramento legislators will face this decade. The severity of our current water crisis has given us greater incentive to repair our state’s aging water infrastructure, but it has not been a speedy or easy process to reach today’s ultimate compromise.

It’s often said that the mark of a good compromise agreement is the fact that nobody is entirely happy with the end result. Nevertheless, this bipartisan agreement that I am proud to have co-authored will offer California’s voters a smaller and more focused water bond that better fits the state’s priorities.

The previous water bond measure was seen as too expensive and was criticized for the unrelated special interest earmarks. While some of these earmarks may be desirable to many people, such as $20 million to reduce animal habitat fragmentation in the Santa Monica mountains, their inclusion in the water bond would likely jeopardize its passage in November.

While I personally believe that the new water bond does not invest enough in water storage options, I’m happy that this bill includes money for groundwater storage and recycling projects that are important to Ventura County. The passage of this bill allows us to begin dealing with problems that should have been addressed a decade ago.”

 

Sacramento, CA – Responding to last week’s Congressional approval of a measure to grant an additional 1,000 immigration visas to Afghan interpreters who have worked with the U.S. military, California State Assemblyman Jeff Gorell (R-Camarillo) today thanked the Senate and House for their bipartisanship, but reminded national legislators that we must do more to expedite the thousands of applications that have left many of our proud allies stranded among enemy terrorists still seeking to harm them.

“During both of my deployments to Afghanistan, I worked alongside Afghan nationals who bravely stood up to Taliban and Al Qaida subjugation, helping break the grip terrorist networks had upon Afghanistan,” stated Assemblyman Gorell. “These dedicated Afghanis risked their lives for our troops, and made it possible for us to complete our day-to-day missions. We must do what we can to protect our Afghan allies from terrorist retribution.”

Last year the state legislature approved Assembly Joint Resolution 22, a measure authored by Assemblyman Gorell calling upon the President and Congress to broaden and expedite immigration visas for Afghan nationals who risked their lives employed in support of United States troops in the War on Terror. The resolution pointed out that the federal Afghan Allies Protection Act of 2009 allows for the issuance of up to 7,500 visas, however only about 1,000 of those had been issued, with a backlog of more than 5,000 applicants waiting to begin the process.

“Expanding the number of visas available to the Special Immigrant Visa program is important because there are still many people who have proven their friendship and deserve the opportunity to come to America,” added Gorell. “But it is even more important that the process be expedited.”

With the drawdown of coalition forces in Afghanistan, Taliban and other insurgents are deliberately targeting the Afghan nationals who’ve worked with American forces, attacking them and their families. The United Nations has reported last year that casualties resulting from the targeted killings of these civilians have increased significantly. In December of 2012, an interpreter in Jalalabad was heading home on leave when Taliban assailants attacked, killing his two brothers.

Assemblyman Gorell currently serves as a Commander and intelligence officer in the U.S. Navy Reserve and has completed two tours of duty in Afghanistan.