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LWV League of Women Voters of California
Merced, San Joaquin, Stanislaus Counties, CA November 5, 2002 Election
Smart Voter Political Philosophy for Barbara S. Matthews

Candidate for
Member; California State Assembly; District 17

This information is provided by the candidate

Why should you vote for Barbara Matthews for State Assembly?

When I ran for the Assembly, I said I would push for targeted tax relief.

This year, I was a sponsor of Proposition 42, which requires that state gasoline sales taxes be spent improving our highways, local streets, and mass transit# without increasing taxes. Previously, gasoline taxes went into the general fund and were used to fund many services. Under Proposition 42, we'll reduce dangerous traffic and road conditions, improve safety conditions around schools, and accelerate rescue times for public safety.

As a sponsor of a new Jarvis Initiative, I'm qualifying a proposition to raise the Homeowners' Property Tax Exemption from $7,000 to $32,000 and to guarantee the renters' tax credit is permanent.

I also lowered State taxes on retirement savings by authoring a bill to conform California's tax code to the Bush Administration's tax changes. Working people may now take advantage of new federal tax breaks on retirement plans by putting more money into IRA, 401(K) and 457 plans without incurring higher state taxes. Without this change, businesses # as well as ordinary taxpayers -- faced accounting nightmares. Major tax watchdog organizations, the California Chamber of Commerce, and the California Manufacturing and Technology Association strongly supported this bill.

My bill to eliminate the tax on propane was included in last year's State budget. Rural residents who heat their homes with propane, and farmers who use it to run equipment, will save $15.3 million by 2003. Natural gas was already tax-exempt; however, prior to my bill, people living in rural areas and mobile homes had to pay tax on propane simply because their location did not allow them to be served by natural gas lines. To me, this was clearly unfair.

As a result of AB 426, which I co-authored as part of the budget tax relief package, farmers and rural residents can look forward to over $91 million in tax relief. It eliminated sales taxes on tractors, harvesters, and other farm equipment. Also included was the elimination of tax on diesel fuel for farmers.

These important tax cuts are helping make our agricultural industry more competitive by lessening the tax burden on our economy, and lowering the overall cost of food production.

But I promised more than tax cuts. I also promised my constituents I'd look out for them. In 2001, when I saw how energy producers were overcharging for electricity, without anyone doing anything about it, I sued.

Lt. Governor Cruz Bustamante and I personally filed a civil lawsuit against a cartel of five out-of-state power generators. The suit alleges that once the five key energy generators gained strategic control over 19 gas-powered plants in California, they engaged in unlawful trading practices to manipulate the market.

We seek to recover billions of dollars in overcharges and to prohibit these same companies from ever doing it again. We are working hard to get your money back!

I am proud to have served you and hope you agree that I have earned your support on November 5.

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Created from information supplied by the candidate: October 20, 2002 16:04
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