Carl DeMaio Launches Campaign to Defeat San Diego “Garbage Tax”

Carl DeMaio Launches Campaign to Defeat San Diego “Garbage Tax”

While San Diegans struggle with the cost increases of record inflation and an oncoming recession, city politicians want to impose a new tax on trash collection — costing homeowners $350-500 more per year. Carl DeMaio says the measure is actually charging residents twice and is leading the campaign to defeat the proposal.

San Diego city politicians have placed a measure on the November 2022 ballot to impose a costly and unfair “Garbage Tax” on all homeowners. Worse, the title and description ballot measure written by these same city politicians is worded in a misleading and deceptive way to hide the fact that it is a garbage tax.

Carl DeMaio, chairman of Reform California, says the tax is yet another unnecessary tax on San Diego’s struggling families by greedy politicians. DeMaio has launched a grassroots campaign to defeat the proposal and is asking residents to join the fight at 

“San Diegans already have one of the highest cost of living burdens in the nation — and the massive surge in inflation is making things even harder,” says DeMaio. “Despite this, San Diego city politicians are proposing to add to that financial burden by imposing a new Garbage Tax on all homeowners,” DeMaio notes.

How much will this new Garbage Tax cost San Diegans? A whopping $350-500 more per year according to DeMaio’s group. 

City politicians say trash services are currently “free” and that the tax is needed to continue service — but DeMaio that is grossly misleading. 

He points to the People’s Ordinance in 1919, passed by voters to direct the City of San Diego to earmark a portion of existing property tax revenues to provide trash service. This policy of using existing property tax assessments was reaffirmed by voters in 1981 and 1986.

“Under these three separate voter-approved measures, you are already paying for trash service — but city politicians have proposed this scheme to double-charge you,” explains DeMaio.

City politicians have also attempted to justify the proposal by saying that it is “unfair” for apartments to have to pay for trash service while single family homes get trash service without an additional charge. 

DeMaio agrees that charing apartments is unfair, but points out that city politicians enacted this unfair apartment policy by exploiting a loophole in the People Ordinances approved in 1919, 1981 and 1986.

“To restore fairness, both single family homes and apartment complexes should receive trash service under current tax allocations — the easy fix is that the City of San Diego should go back to complying with the People’s Ordinance for all residential properties,” explains DeMaio.

DeMaio is urging all San Diego city residents to join the campaign to block the “Garbage Tax” in the November 2022 election.

Sign The Petition

Join the Campaign: Stop the Garbage Tax

More Signatures Needed to Advance the California Taxpayer Protection Act

More Signatures Needed to Advance the California Taxpayer Protection Act

Carl DeMaio is leading a statewide signature drive to block costly tax hikes in California. Over 1 million signatures have been collected and just 300,000 more needed by July 16.

Californians already pay the highest taxes in the country — and Reform California Chairman Carl DeMaio is fighting to change that by forcing a statewide vote on the California Taxpayer Protection Act – a ballot initiative that would make it harder for state and local politicians to impose costly tax hikes.

“Californians already pay the highest income tax, the highest sales tax, the highest gas tax, and some of the highest property taxes in the nation — and now politicians even want to not only increase those tax rates but impose a new Mileage Tax,” DeMaio warned. “It’s time to take action and stop the constant tax hikes that are crushing California’s families,” DeMaio says.

The “California Taxpayer Protection Act” would have closed loopholes politicians have exploited in recent years to impose tax hikes. The measure would strengthen the requirement that local tax hikes must receive two-thirds voter approval to go into effect. In addition, the measure would combat false and misleading ballot titles currently used by state and local politicians to deceive voters into voting for ballot items that contain hidden tax hikes.

DeMaio says the campaign has already collected over 1 million signatures – but still needs roughly 300,000 more signatures to ensure the measure qualifies for a statewide vote. The effort faces a deadline of late July to submit signatures to state election officials.

That’s why DeMaio and Reform California are hosting signature drives throughout California. DeMaio is asking for volunteers to request the petition and commit to collecting just 30 signatures in their local area and mail them back to DeMaio’s Reform California campaign headquarters by July 15 for processing. 

DeMaio is confident that the measure can pass if it qualifies for the ballot. “Californians are sick and tired of the tax-and-spend policies of the liberal supermajority in Sacramento that are raising our cost-of-living,” said DeMaio. 

“Our polling shows that they would overwhelmingly vote in favor of this common-sense tax relief measure, but our biggest challenge is getting enough signatures to get on the ballot,” DeMaio said. 

Request Petition for Signatures on California Taxpayer Protection Act

Join the Fight: Stop Tax Hikes in California

Reform California Launches Petition to Suspend the State Gas Tax

Reform California Launches Petition to Suspend the State Gas Tax

The price of gas is now a record-breaking $5.18 per gallon statewide in California! Working families are getting CRUSHED, and that’s why we’re mobilizing a grassroots campaign to demand state politicians provide relief by suspending the state’s high gas tax! Here is how we can do this and how you can help! 

Reform California has created a statewide petition and grassroots pressure campaign demanding that Gov. Gavin Newsom and the state legislature use their emergency powers (remember those from Covid?) to immediately suspend the following taxes that are spiking the cost of gas in California: 

Suspend the Gas Excise Tax: 51.1 cents per gallon

Suspend the Gas Cap & Trade Tax: 40-50 cents per gallon

Suspend the Sales Tax on Gas: 20-25 cents per gallon

Total Immediate Savings to Californians: $1.11-1.26 per gallon

By suspending these costly taxes on gas, the average California family will save over $215 per month immediately! 

California’s liberal politicians don’t want to do the right thing and suspend these taxes – but we need to get them all on record on their position on this proposal. That way if they don’t suspend the gas taxes during this crisis, we can use their inaction as an argument to defeat them in the 2022 elections! 

One HUGE side benefit of this grassroots ad campaign is to educate voters on who they really should blame for California’s high gas prices! I’m sure you’ve seen the dishonest media in California is bending over backwards to drive a false narrative that the high costs of gas are all because of the Russia-Ukraine conflict.  Let’s use this ad campaign to educate voters and get the real truth out there! 

Public pressure HAS worked in the past – even in crazy California! So please sign the petition and contribute to this fight today!

Sign the Petition: Suspend the California Gas Taxes

Contribute Securely: Demand California Politicians Suspend the Gas Tax 

Reform California Opposes “Savings Tax” Proposal

Reform California Opposes “Savings Tax” Proposal

California already has the highest Income Tax, Sales Tax, Gas Tax, Car Tax and Property Tax – but now California Democrat politicians want to impose another massive tax on savings, investments and assets of state residents

California’s taxes are already the highest in the country, but now California Democrat politicians want even more money from residents in the form of a new tax on the assets of residents.

The Democrat politicians claim the tax will only be paid by the “richest residents” in the state and have dubbed their proposal a “Wealth Tax” but opponents like Reform California Chairman Carl DeMaio says the proposal needs to be best understood as a “Savings Tax.” 

“Californians are already paying the highest taxes on everything they earn, everything they buy, and every property they own – and after all that, if they manage to save or invest any assets, California Democrats want to take a chunk of that too,” DeMaio said. “California Democrats are punishing people who save for a rainy day,” DeMaio noted.

Assemblyman Alex Lee has introduced Assembly Bill 2289 to impose a new tax of 1.5 percent upon the “worldwide net worth” of California’s millionaires. It would also create a Wealth Tax Advisory Council and allocate a minimum of $325 million for the purpose of administering and collecting the tax. Lee’s proposal is projected to impose  an extra $22 billion a year in state tax burden on residents.

If AB 2289 passes, California would be the first state in the country to impose a “Savings” or “Wealth” tax. The proposal originally was proposed by national Democratic Socialists – including Senators Elizabeth Warren and Bernie Sanders.  Washington state is considering a similar proposal.

Lee said when announcing the bill that he wanted the “rich to be paying their fair share.” But DeMaio says every taxpayer needs to worry.  

“Just as they did with the Income Tax when it was first imposed more than a century ago, once the Democrats create this Savings Tax it will quickly be expanded to include everyone,” DeMaio noted.

DeMaio also predicts that the tax increase will actually cause the state to lose tax revenue.

“You can only tax people so much before they say ‘enough’ and leave — California families and companies are fleeing the state every day because they can’t afford to stay,” said DeMaio. “Just look at Tesla, which shifted operations to Texas for better tax laws — we’re driving these people and jobs away because liberal politicians are greedy for more and more of your hard-earned tax dollars,” he concluded.

DeMaio and Reform California are committed to exposing and fighting tax increases like the California Savings Tax, and they have a record of success. 

In 2018, DeMaio spearheaded the signature drive to get the Gas Tax repeal on the ballot in 2018. DeMaio and Reform California have run successful campaigns that have blocked billions in costly tax proposals in just the last decade – including a number of local sales and property tax hikes, a statewide Water Tax and Text Tax, and even fees that masquerade as taxes such as the Mileage Tax. 

DeMaio says the first step to defeating taxes like the California Savings Tax is spreading the information with friends and family — and supporting Reform California’s efforts to get the word out to target voters.

“I’m asking concerned Californians to join our campaign today to promote this information to winnable voters and stop costly tax hikes,” said DeMaio. “With your help, we can win the fight to block these taxes and make California more affordable for our families,” he concluded.

Join the Campaign: Stop the Tax Hikes

Effort to Block Costly Tax Hikes in CA Faces Deadline for Signatures

Effort to Block Costly Tax Hikes in CA Faces Deadline for Signatures

Reform California is asking for volunteers to collect signatures on petitions to qualify two ballot initiatives to oppose costly tax hikes in California; effort needs 1 million signatures before April deadline.

Californians are being forced to pay the highest taxes in the country, but two proposed ballot initiatives would give the state’s taxpayers much-needed relief as well as protect them from future tax hikes. The only problem? The proposed ballot measures each need nearly 1 million signatures to appear on the November 2022 statewide ballot.

That’s why Reform California is asking for volunteers to help collect signatures. Volunteers can sign up to have petition booklets mailed to them and can attend a series of “signature storms” that Reform California is organizing in the coming weeks.

“We must fight back against the liberal tax-and-spend super-majority in Sacramento and demand tax relief for our struggling families,” said Carl DeMaio, Chairman of Reform California in announcing the signature drive to help qualify the two tax reform measures. 

“It is clear that California’s liberal politicians won’t stop coming after our wallets, so we need to impose restrictions on them using the citizens’ initiative process at the ballot box — and 2022 offers us the best possible environment to win,” DeMaio noted.

The first measure is called the “Taxpayer Protection and Government Accountability Act” and it would close loopholes politicians have exploited in recent years to impose tax hikes. The measure would strengthen the requirement that local tax hikes must receive two-thirds voter approval to go into effect. In addition, the measure would combat false and misleading ballot titles currently used by state and local politicians to deceive voters into voting for ballot items that contain hidden tax hikes.
The second measure is called the “Repeal the Death Tax Act” and it would preserve Prop 13 and allow parents and grandparents to transfer property to their children and grandchildren without triggering a huge property tax increase.

DeMaio Leads Fight Against Mileage Tax in California

DeMaio Leads Fight Against Mileage Tax in California

On Top of the Highest Gas and Car Taxes in the Nation, California Democrats Now Want to Impose a Costly Mileage Tax on All Drivers

If you thought it was expensive to own a car and drive in California before, you need to grab your wallet because it’s about to get a lot more expensive under a proposal from California Democrat politicians.

Under the so-called Mileage Tax proposal being advanced, every driver would be charged 4 to 6 cents per mile that they drive. What’s worse, every driver’s mileage would be tracked and reported for billing purposes to local governments – raising serious concerns about privacy.

California Democrats say the new Mileage Tax would raise increased revenue that they want to spend on transit programs, and that it would discourage Calfornians from driving cars by making it more costly.

Critics of the Mileage Tax are already organizing and launching a campaign in opposition. 

Carl DeMaio, who serves as Chairman of Reform California, called the Mileage Tax “one of the most outrageous and absurd tax hike proposals I have seen in a long time — and remember, we’re talking about California where tax-and-spend Democrats have been raising taxes for a long time!”

DeMaio explained that the Mileage Tax is a regressive tax that hurts working families and the lowest income families the most. 

“It would cost the typical driver between $600 and $900 per year, assuming they drive only 15,000 miles per year,” DeMaio noted. “The Mileage Tax would be the death blow to many families, pricing them out of our state,” said DeMaio.

DeMaio is leading the statewide fight through his Reform California campaign committee to block the Mileage Tax from being imposed – and he’s targeting most of his efforts to block the first Mileage Tax pilot project in San Diego county. 

In December, the San Diego County Association of Governments (SANDAG), the county regional transportation board, approved the regional transportation plan — which included a Mileage Tax in it.

In addition to the Mileage Tax, San Diego politicians are placing a massive Sales Tax on the ballot in November. DeMaio says stopping these two taxes in San Diego is the focus of his campaign, as it sends a message statewide that politicians should not be considering a Mileage Tax or any other tax increase at this time — what DeMaio labels a “crazy and costly idea.”

“If we can kill the pilot project and show Democrats that the idea is radioactive then we have a good shot of killing this crazy tax before it is imposed statewide on all drivers,” DeMaio explains.

DeMaio warned local politicians that he will make this a political issue in candidate races, pledging to work toward the defeat of any politician who supports the tax hikes.

To organize opposition to the Mileage Tax and Sales Tax in San Diego, DeMaio is hosting a series of town halls in the county to recruit volunteers and supporters. These forces will wage the grassroots campaign this year to defeat the tax hike proposals — and to defeat politicians associated with the proposals.

The next town hall opposing the Mileage Tax and Sales Tax will be held February 10th and will feature San Diego Supervisor Jim Desmond and State Assemblywoman Laurie Davies speaking against the proposals.

RSVP: Town Hall Opposing the Mileage Tax

DeMaio is asking all Californians — not only in San Diego, but statewide — to contribute immediately to the Reform California grassroots campaign to stop the Mileage Tax. 

Contribute: Stop the Mileage Tax in California

RELEASE: Don’t Trust Local Politicians to Oppose Mileage Tax

RELEASE: Don’t Trust Local Politicians to Oppose Mileage Tax

We Can’t Trust Todd Gloria
The Mileage Tax Won’t Be Dead Until We Elect New Leaders to SANDAG

Reform California Continues County-Wide Campaign to Block Costly Tax Hikes Proposed by SANDAG and Todd Gloria 

San Diego Mayor Todd Gloria (D) today released a carefully worded statement saying he wants to drop the idea of a Mileage Tax “for now” but today announced he will STILL VOTE FOR the Mileage Tax included in the SANDAG Regional Transportation Plan next week. Gloria claims he will “remove” the Mileage Tax later on.

In response, Carl DeMaio, Chairman of Reform California and leader of the campaign opposing the Mileage Tax proposal offers the following statement:

When it comes to costly tax hikes, we don’t trust Todd Gloria for a second. Todd Gloria says he doesn’t want a Mileage Tax right now, but he still intends to vote for the SANDAG plan that includes a Mileage Tax! Todd Gloria is simply playing political games to buy some time because he is still backing a massive sales tax hike being put on the November election.

Gloria can say he will remove the Mileage Tax at a future date, but he has shown time and time again to be completely untrustworthy and dishonest when it comes to tax hikes. We have no doubt he and his cohorts will impose a Mileage Tax after the November 2022 election.

San Diego drivers will not be safe from a costly Mileage Tax until we replace Todd Gloria and other SANDAG board members with new leaders who will oppose all tax hikes and force SANDAG to fulfill its promises made to taxpayers to fix our roads.”

DeMaio encourages voters to join the Reform California campaign opposing the Mileage Tax by signing up at

About Reform California   Formed in 2003, Reform California is dedicated to holding state and local government accountable through ballot measures and recall campaigns. For more information, visit  

Republican Laura Lothian Wins Special Election

Republican Laura Lothian Wins Special Election

Opposition to Mileage Tax Proposal Propels Republicans to Big Win in City Council Election in Democratic Stronghold of La Mesa.

Reform California has been warning San Diego politicians that backing the controversial Mileage Tax proposal will backfire on them politically – and now an upset win in a Special Election in La Mesa provides proof of that.

In a Special Election to fill a vacancy on the City Council in the heavily Democratic City of La Mesa, Republican Laura Lothian has scored a solid win tonight.

“Laura Lothian made her opposition to the costly Mileage Tax the centerpiece of her entire campaign and the voters took note and handed her a huge victory,” notes Carl DeMaio, Chairman of Reform California.

Reform California is leading the campaign opposing the Mileage Tax proposal being advanced by SANDAG and county Democrats.  Reform California and DeMaio endorsed Lothian and made her election a priority because of her opposition to the Mileage Tax.

Lothian’s win could spell trouble for SANDAG’s plans as her vote will create a majority on the City Council opposed to the Mileage Tax.

“We’re only just getting started and I hope the results of this election serve as a clear warning to all politicians who dare support a Mileage Tax that their political careers are at risk and we’re coming for them in the next election over this outrageous proposal,” promised DeMaio.

Attached is a copy of the Lothian Campaign Mailers on Mileage Tax 

San Diego Mayor and City Council Pursue Illegal Attempt to Impose Tax Hike Rejected by Voters

San Diego Mayor and City Council Pursue Illegal Attempt to Impose Tax Hike Rejected by Voters

Measure C from March 2020 Failed – But Now City Politicians Hungry for Cash Seek to Invalidate the Certified Results of the Election

In light of revelations that San Diego Mayor Todd Gloria and the City Council will seek to impose a hotel tax hike rejected by voters in the March 2020 election, the following statement is released from former San Diego City Councilman Carl DeMaio:

“San Diego politicians are seeking to illegally impose a massive tax hike that was rejected by voters. This desperate and dubious move is nothing short of an attempt to invalidate the outcome of the March 2020 election and thwart the will of the voters.

While sold with the window dressing of expanding the Convention Center and funding a number of popular programs, Measure C would actually have imposed a blank-check tax hike that would allow politicians to spend the money any way they pleased. Despite millions spent on this scam measure, voters wisely rejected it at the ballot box in March 2020.

City politicians are now claiming that an unrelated and unresolved legal theory regarding vote thresholds for approving tax hikes sponsored by citizens’ initiatives could somehow allow them to impose the Measure C tax hike despite its clear rejection by voters. This is simply untrue. In fact, city voters were explicitly told on their official ballot materials that Measure C would require a two-thirds vote. Period. No judge will now allow politicians to reverse in practice what voters were told on their ballots.

Make no mistake about it: Reform California and a broad-based coalition of opponents are prepared to oppose this reckless and illegal effort to impose this ‘Zombie Tax’ on San Diegans. Unfortunately, this doomed effort to create the ‘Zombie Tax’ will only end up costing taxpayers millions in legal fees for the negligence of our city politicians on this matter.”

No on Prop 15: Carl DeMaio and Small Business Owners Warn of New Home-Based Business Tax

No on Prop 15: Carl DeMaio and Small Business Owners Warn of New Home-Based Business Tax

Carl DeMaio and a coalition of small business owners and advocates today held a press conference to urge voters to vote NO on Prop 15 – the massive statewide property tax hike on the November ballot. 

“We already know that Prop 15 immediately imposes a massive tax hike on California’s small businesses, but we are also now learning that the fine print in Prop 15 also authorizes state politicians to impose a new tax on home-based businesses,” said Carl DeMaio, Chairman of Reform California.

DeMaio and the small business coalition he assembled decried the cost of Prop 15’s tax hike to small businesses that are already struggling with Covid-19 lockdowns and an economic downturn. 

“If Prop 15 passes, it will be the final nail in the coffin for many of these struggling small businesses and the job losses will be immense,” DeMaio warned.

DeMaio also released analysis of Prop 15 provisions that he says authorize the state legislature to impose a new tax on home-based businesses. 

“Many small businesses are operating out of people’s homes and Prop 15 opens these home-based businesses up to a massive tax hike,” DeMaio warned.

Prop 15 would increase property taxes on commercial, retail, industrial and other properties to the tune of $11 billion.  Prop 15 is seen as just the first step of a two-step effort to completely repeal Prop 13 from 1978 and increase property taxes on all properties – especially single family homes.

How Prop 15 Authorizes Politicians to Impose a Tax on Home-Based Business

Initiative Text: What Prop 15 Says

AG 2019-0008, Amdt. #1, Initiative Sec. 5, adding Cal. Const. Art XVIII A, Section 2.5(c)(4)(B):

“The Legislature shall also define and provide by statute that limited commercial uses of residential property, such as home offices, home-based businesses or short-term rentals, shall be classified as residential for purposes of paragraph (2) of subdivision (a).” 

AG 2019-0008, Amdt. #1, Initiative Sec. 6, adding Cal. Const. Art XVIII A, Section 2.5(c)(2):

“’Mixed-use property’ means real property on which both residential and commercial or industrial uses are permitted.” 

AG 2019-0008, Amdt. #1, Initiative Sec. 5, adding Cal. Const. Art XVIII A, Section 2.5(c)(4)(B):

“The Legislature may provide for an exclusion from reassessment for the commercial share of mixed use property provided seventy-five percent (75%) or more of the property by square footage or value is residential. 

AG 2019-0008, Amdt. #1, Initiative Sec. 5, adding Cal. Const. Art XVIII A, Section 2.5(d)(1):

Subject to paragraph (2) of this subdivision, upon reassessment pursuant to subdivisions (a) and (b), each commercial and industrial real property with a fair market value

of three million dollars ($3,000,000) or less shall not be subject to reassessment pursuant to paragraph (1) of subdivision (a) and shall be assessed as required by Section 2 of this Article.

Initiative Impact: What Prop 15 Does

How We Know Prop 15 Gives The Legislature the Power to Tax Residential Property Used For a Home-Based Business:

Prop 15 gives the State Legislature the power to define and provide by statute what constitutes “limited commercial uses of residential property.” The Legislature could define “limited commercial uses of residential property” in any number of ways—including how much income a home-based business generates.

If a home-based business does not meet the Legislature’s definition of “limited commercial uses of residential property,” it will be treated as “mixed-use property,” as defined by the initiative, because it has both a residential and commercial use.

In doing so, the Legislature would create two classes of home businesses: one that qualifies as “mixed-use property” subject to reassessment and another that will retain residential designation with “limited commercial use.”

How We Know the Legislature Can Pick and Choose Which Businesses to Raise Property Taxes On:

The Legislature may provide an exclusion from reassessment for the commercial share of mixed-use property but is not obligated to under Prop 15. This is purely optional and is subject to the political whims of state politicians.

This discretion gives the Legislature the power to impose higher property taxes on the commercial portion of home-based businesses with mixed-use designations. The Legislature’s power to define “limited commercial use” will allow politicians to pick winners and losers among home-based small businesses and target those homeowners higher property taxes.

How We Know Residential Properties of ANY Value Operating a Home-Based Business Can Be Reassessed:

The three-million-dollar exclusion from reassessment is for “commercial and industrial real property” only. Thus, it will not apply to a home-based business that is designated as “mixed-use property.”

There is no dollar threshold for “mixed-use property” in Prop 15, so a residential property of any value operating a home-based business could be subject to higher property taxes.

What Prop 15 Means for Residential Property Used For Home-Based Businesses:

Prop 15 strips long-standing Prop 13 protections from residential property. Prop 13 limits property tax increases to 2% annually, providing certainty to homeowners and small businesses that they can afford their taxes in the future. Prop 15 allows state politicians to raise property taxes on millions of home-based businesses – meaning skyrocketing property taxes for homeowners.

More Californians than ever are conducting businesses from their homes, and Prop 15 gives the Legislature the power to raise taxes on these homeowners. If past actions by the Legislature are an indication of future behavior, it’s likely that many home businesses will be subject to Prop 15’s higher property taxes.

Taxing home businesses is just another step towards the full repeal of Prop 13 for all homeowners.