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California Lawmaker Proposes Taxing Services

ludios, flickr

California Senate chamber

ludios, flickr

Democratic Senator Bob Hertzberg released Monday details of his plan to update California's tax system. He’s calling for a sales tax on professional, construction, financial and agricultural services. The bill could also change the income and corporate tax structure. Hertzberg says he has three main objectives.

"One, really harmonizing the economy and the growth of the economy with the tax system," he says. "Two, creating a tax system that really supports the core values that we care about, education, infrastructure. And three, bringing government closer to the people."  

Hertzberg estimates his changes would generate an additional $10 billion dollars a year for the state. He proposes spending the extra money on schools, higher education and local governments among other things.

Hertzberg argues his proposal would make the state’s economy more stable. But he stresses this is just the start of the debate.

"This is a republic. We need to have a serious discussion. Now is the time. We’ve got to figure it out. And so, let’s engage in that process," he says. "The pro Tem has put me as chair of the committee that deals with this issue and I intend to engage in a robust and thoughtful discussion."

It would require the approval of two-thirds of the legislature.

Katie Orr

Former Health Care Reporter

Katie Orr reported for Capital Public Radio News through December 2015.  Read Full Bio