Howard Jarvis Taxpayers Association grades state reps on taxpayer issues

Signal file photo of the state's Capitol building in Sacramento

The Howard Jarvis Taxpayers Association released its 2019 legislative report card that grades lawmakers, including Santa Clarita Valley elected officials, on how they performed on taxpayer-related issues. 

The report card, touted as a non-partisan tool, was released last week and is designed “to help Californians gauge how their state representatives are actually performing on taxpayer-related issues, including but not limited to tax increases and direct attacks on Proposition 13.”

Scores stem from nine bills, including Assembly Bill 723, Senate Bill 268 and SB 96. This year’s scoring methodology removed policy committee votes and only considered floor votes, allowing “all legislators to vote on a bill at the same time and removes the potential risk of grade inflation,” the report read. 

A total of 15 out of 120 legislators received a perfect score out of 100%, including State Sen. Scott Wilk, R-Santa Clarita, and Assemblyman Tom Lackey, R-Palmdale. 

“My priority in Sacramento is to ensure our tax dollars are used sensibly,” said Wilk in a statement. “Folks from the Victor Valley, the Antelope Valley all the way to the Santa Clarita Valley struggle to provide for their families every month. Every dime the state collects in taxes from these hard-working Californians should be spent with that in mind and not wasted.”

On tax issues, Wilk and Lackey have expressed the importance of voter confidence and against efforts that strip homeowners of protections covered under Prop. 13, such as, according to opponents, the “split roll” ballot initiatives. 

“I am proud to stand up for the taxpayers of the Santa Clarita Valley and fight against all attempts to undermine Proposition 13,” said Lackey. “A family with a fixed income should never lose their home because of rising property taxes.”

Assemblywoman Christy Smith, D-Santa Clarita, has also expressed that she is not entirely in support of the split roll. She received a score of 55% on the report card. Among 50 others, Sen. Henry Stern, D-Canoga Park, received a score of 0%. Both state representatives declined to comment.

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