The pain of the status quo will determine the pace of California’s reform effort.
That’s the view of Joel Fox, head of the Los Angeles-based Small Business Action Committee. In a keynote presentation on Oct. 15 at the 40th annual Ventura County Economic Development Association business outlook conference, Fox said reforms take place in waves that can take decades to enact.
Fox, the former head of the Howard Jarvis Taxpayers Association, said property tax issues surfaced for decades before Proposition 13 passed in 1978.
Fox’s current group, the Small Business Action Committee, has endorsed Republican Meg Whitman for governor and has run ads criticizing her opponent, Democratic Attorney General Jerry Brown.
At the VCEDA conference in Camarillo, nearly two-thirds of the attendees said they support a constitutional convention to rewrite California laws.
Fox told the group that a number of efforts so far, including the ill-fated receipts tax on services, have failed the excite the business community. In other cases, as with the idea of a constitutional convention, Democratic and Republican forces teamed up to squelch a reform effort.
“We have to improve the business climate in this state,” Fox said, noting that even green energy companies are choosing to expand outside of California.