Californians may see a new tax placed on the purchase of lumber products, with Gov. Brown’s proposed Timber Harvest Plan Reform, which includes a new tax on the sale of lumber products, designed to support state regulatory agencies. Rather than reforming the aggressive regulations placed on the timber industry, the governor’s office is suggesting new taxes to pay for the regulations.

This tax may very well force small businesses and consumers to look outside the state to purchase lumber products, further weakening the California economy.

First, let’s discuss the impact on small business. Industries like construction and agriculture rely heavily on lumber and cannot afford an increase in expenses, especially when many, like home builders, cannot find regular employment.

Second, there are the consumers who would be paying yet another tax – if they want to build their kids a tree house, or make some improvements to their home. These same consumers who face rising food and gas prices, who may be unemployed or underemployed, must pay an additional tax because the governor would rather impose a new tax than reform the regulatory process.

We can’t simply tax away our problems. Our leaders in Sacramento need to reform and streamline the regulatory process, not shift the burden to struggling small businesses and consumers.