CONTACT: Ron Rogers
May 25, 1994
FONG OFFERS TAXPAYER PROTECTION PLAN
SAVING TAXPAYERS OVER $2 BILLION
SACRAMENTO, CA -- Matt Fong, Republican candidate for State
Treasurer unveiled his first television commercial and his "Taxpayer
Protection Plan" during a noon luncheon with reporters today in
Sacramento. Fong's commercial emphasizes his belief that the formidable
problems facing California government will not be solved merely by
spending more taxpayer dollars. Fong's "Taxpayer Protection Plan"
outlines his reform package that would save taxpayers an estimated $2
"My job as Vice Chairman of the State Board of Equalization is to
ensure that California taxpayers -- individuals and businesses -- are
treated fairly by the state's taxing system. Tax fairness is an
important guardian of individual liberty," Fong said.
"We have already cut $5.2 million by enacting measures at the
State Board of Equalization to streamline our procedures. The same can
be done throughout state government. My 'Taxpayer Protection Plan'
details how to save over $2 billion hard earned tax dollars."
Fong's Democrat opponents have both claimed they want to make
government more efficient. Fong is the only candidate to offer a
specific program to do so. In addition, Fong is the only candidate who
is campaigning on the fiscal issues that will face our next State Treasurer.
"I believe Californians want to hear what their candidates will
do when elected to office. Our first campaign commercial will give the
voters a clear cut difference between the focus of our campaign and that
of my opponents," Fong concluded.
Following are some key elements of "The Taxpayer Protection Plan:"
STEP ONE: Simplify California's Income Tax System
TAXPAYER BENEFIT: Savings of $20 Million
California's individual income tax is nearly identical to the federal
income tax. Simplifying the state's income tax system could save
individual taxpayers time and money -- and the state and estimated $20
million annually by shrinking the state tax bureaucracy. The state
should also simplify the corporate income tax, since it already conforms
so closely to federal law.
STEP TWO: Consolidate California's Tax Agencies
TAXPAYER BENEFIT: Annual Savings of $18-20 Million
Currently, California supports three major taxing agencies: the Franchise
Tax Board for income taxes; the Employment Development Department for
payroll taxes; and the Board of Equalization for sales taxes and a host
of other taxes. This tax system is an expensive mix of multiple
bureaucracies, inconsistent regulations and competing tax policies. Fong
proposes to consolidate these agencies into one agency, the State Board
of Equalization -- whose members are elected officials accountable to
STEP THREE: Make Government More Accountable
TAXPAYER BENEFIT: More Cost-Effective and Efficient Government Services
In state government, the taxpayer is a valued client and should be
treated like one. At the Board of Equalization, Fong led the effort to
develop statistics for agency staff to measure performance. Before he
took office, service was not a priority. In 1991, one in five taxpayers
waited an incredible 40 minutes before being helped. Now, only one in
100 taxpayers must wait that long. In addition, he supports the
Governor's proposal to adopt performance based budgeting throughout the
STEP FOUR: Eliminate Conflict of Interest
TAXPAYER BENEFIT: Lower Borrowing Costs and More Funds for Schools,
Hospitals, Prisons and Other Projects
Many taxpayers have lost trust in their elected officials and faith in
government's ability to solve problems. Fong believes we must take
action to restore integrity and rebuild faith in government. To do this,
he has pledged not to accept contributions from bond houses,
underwriters, their employees or family members.
STEP FIVE: Cut Government Waste
TAXPAYER BENEFIT: Annual Savings of Over $2 Billion
In the last two budget years, his state agency, the Board of
Equalization, has trimmed $5.2 million from our budget, found another
$1.8 million in savings and reduced the number of office from seven to
four. He strongly recommends the adoption of the following cost-saving
* Conform state prevailing wage law to federal prevailing wage law.
* Restrict Medi-Cal eligibility to California residents.
* Eliminate conjugal visits for prisoners.
* Reduce AFDC grants by 10 percent.
* Privatize some state services.
For a copy of the "Taxpayer Protection Plan" call 1-800-MATT-FONG.
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