In mid-December I received a copy of a “Special Notice” from the California State Board of Equalization, about a new use tax assessment, the “Lumber and Engineered Wood Products 1 Percent Assessment. (Yes, that is a $1 tax on every $100 spent.)
Starting January 2013, we will be taxed an additional 1 percent on many lumber products that are sold or transported into the state.
With further investigation, I found that Assembly Bill 1492 sets regulations for the recovery of fire suppression costs, extends the lifespan of timber harvest plans, and establishes a Public Resources Code, section, the “Timer Regulation and Forest Restoration Fund.”
This new fund is set up to provide for actions, regulations, and practices of the departments of Forestry and Fish and Game that currently exist, and are themselves funded through existing taxes and forest management fees. These fees, paid by forest landowners and management companies, are then passed to lumber consumers in the form of retail pricing.
Additionally, “The initial emergency regulation and the one readoption of an emergency regulation authorized by this section shall be exempt from review by the Office of Administrative Law.”
This double taxation bill has been quickly jabbed into us with virtually no comment or evaluation period, without considering alternatives, and to charge for things previously paid. It’s a side-deal slush fund to the general fund.
This splinter needs to be plucked out and thrown back at the boards from which it came.