Hold on to Your Wallet
By Assemblymember Marie Waldron
As your Assemblywoman, I oppose tax increases, which is why I voted against extending
cap-and- trade, a huge regressive tax on the working men and women of this state.
Though cap-and- trade fees generate billions for California’s general fund, there is little
evidence of any positive environmental impact. Under the program, caps are placed on
greenhouse gas emissions by industries, such as oil refineries and energy producers,
which pay fees on emissions that exceed those caps. Though the intent is to create
incentives for industry to invest in new and cleaner technologies, the fees are usually
passed through, largely removing the incentives by forcing consumers to pay the
Like the recent gas tax increase and extensive changes to the Board of Equalization, last
week’s cap-and- trade vote to extend the program’s expiration date from 2020 to 2030
was rushed through with little debate or input from those most affected, including
California’s small businesses.
Large enterprises can increase their products’ costs to cover the fees, but smaller
companies aren’t able to cope as easily. For example, cap-and- trade fees may eventually
increase gasoline prices as much as 90 cents per gallon, literally driving up the cost of
everything, including shipping costs and fuel surcharges on the goods we purchase.
These costs will be added to the 12 – 20 cent per gallon gas/diesel tax going into effect
this November. On the other hand, smaller businesses will see out-of- state and foreign
competitors that don’t have to worry about cap-and- trade undercut their prices, forcing
them into bankruptcy or out of California.
Regrettably, California’s small businesses and its hard working taxpayers, many with the
least ability to pay, will be saddled with years of massive tax increases as a result of last
week’s cap-and- trade vote.
Assemblymember Marie Waldron, R-Escondido, represents the 75 th Assembly District in the
California Legislature, which includes the communities of Bonsall, Escondido, Fallbrook,
Hidden Meadows, Pala, Palomar Mountain, Pauma Valley, Rainbow, San Marcos, Temecula, Valley Center and Vista.