The Problem: California’s cost of living is skyrocketing higher and higher and the struggle of working families has reached a crisis point.
Californians are fleeing the state in record numbers (net migration out of state is 150,000 to 200,000 residents a year). A recent poll showed 47% of California families considered themselves to be “working poor,” and income data reveals one in five Californians are living in poverty.
Strategy 1: Middle Class Tax Relief
California has the highest income taxes in the nation. Worse, several taxes that are highly regressive and hurt middle class families the most have been DOUBLED in the last 25 years. Gas taxes, mandates and fees have added more than $1/gallon in cost of living burden. The sales tax has nearly doubled since 1994.
It is not enough to oppose new taxes – we must reduce taxes with an immediate focus on taxes, mandates and fees that disproportionately hurt the middle class.
Strategy 2: Affordable Housing
California’s housing costs are more than 80% higher than the national average and only getting worse. Instead of enlarging government’s role in the housing market, we should get government out of the way. We will fight taxes, mandates, regulations, and fees that drive up the cost to build and maintain a home while working to clear hurdles that block new housing supply from reaching the market.
Strategy 3: Reform Water and Electric Utility Rates
California has the nation’s sixth-highest retail price of electricity in the residential sector, according to the U.S. Energy Information Administration. In addition, we have the highest water rates in the nation and our water supply has been diverted resulting in a human-made shortage.
We will protect working families from unfair and costly water and energy usage penalties/fines. We will reform all government-run water agencies to cut costs and pass savings on to ratepayers while reforming water policy to meet the needs of residents. We will eliminate the regulations and mandates on electric utilities and require that 100% of the savings be rebated to customers through lower rates going forward.