California Democrats' proposals would raise state taxes

California's recession has not stopped lawmakers from proposing nearly two dozen bills that would dip into taxpayers' pocketbooks for causes from trauma care to domestic violence.

The measures would affect millions of Californians in ways ranging from legalizing and regulating marijuana to charging for shopper carry-out bags or requiring sterilization of pet cats that roam.

Most of the Democrat-driven proposals target specific groups of people, such as millionaires, pornography buyers, teenage drivers, motorcycle owners, cigarette smokers or liquor drinkers.

The goal typically is to alter risky behavior, reduce pollution or to raise money for education, roads, shelters, emergency services or other vital services in a cash-strapped state.

"It's other people's money and they can dream up every single good cause in the world to justify the further rape of the California taxpayer," said Jon Coupal of the Howard Jarvis Taxpayers Association.

The new measures come only weeks after bitter fighting produced a new state budget with $12.5 billion in higher taxes and fees.

"After they've just jammed us with new taxes, they should not be talking about this," Coupal said of the new proposals.

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