Thursday, June 1, 2017


Sebastian Ridley-Thomas

Recently uncovered problems at the State Board of Equalization (BOE), the agency that oversees sales taxes and hears tax appeals, are quite concerning and demand transparent and publically debated solutions. I have introduced legislation, Assembly Bill 1210, to fix the problems and increase transparency, while protecting taxpayers’ rights.

The problems are well-documented. An evaluation by the State Department of Finance revealed that the BOE misused revenue-generating employees, and did not correctly allocate sales tax revenue to various funds that receive state money.

My proposal, based on recommendations from the nonpartisan Legislative Analyst’s Office, includes reforms in three key areas.

Wednesday, May 24, 2017


Sebastian Ridley-Thomas

Attempt delay if you like, it will only hasten the inevitable.

The year 2017 finds the Golden State struggling to manage challenges of modernity, scarcity, innovation, and demographics as these realities cause great unease. While all this occurs, a new generation has arisen: the millennials. The largest generation in American history (topping some 92 million people) is positioned to redefine every facet of life.

Housing, education, marriage, employment, homeownership, consumerism, multiculturalism, art, culture, sport, technology, and retirement are just a small sample of the important topics that are impacted by this unique generation.

Wednesday, April 26, 2017

A bill to halt plans in dozens of California cities to tax streaming video services for five years is stalled for the year.

Assemblyman Sebastian Ridley-Thomas (D) agreed to shift his A.B. 252 into an idea that lawmakers will study this year and take up again in 2018. The unanimous vote April 24 in the Assembly Revenue and Taxation Committee was a win for the powerful California Cable and Telecommunications Association, as well as cities, counties and the consulting firm MuniServices LLC, which has been helping cities figure out if their existing ordinances would allow such a tax.

Thursday, April 6, 2017

Huffington Post
Sebastian Ridley-Thomas

If states remain the laboratories of democracy, let the State of California model fiscally responsible governance with a commitment to respecting the policy concerns of Californians. Substantial chatter on the left coast since November 8th of last year has focused on the deep concerns felt about new leadership in Washington, D.C. and a country with seemingly divergent views on the future of the Union.

Tuesday, February 7, 2017

CULVER CITY, Calif. (KGO) --

Netflix and other streaming video services could end up being taxed, but a state assemblyman has a bill that will stop that.

The bill would prevent utility taxes on streaming media companies for the next five years.

Friday, February 3, 2017

Multiple California cities began exploring whether to tax consumers for watching Netflix and other streaming video services last year, and now a Los Angeles lawmaker wants to ban the idea.

Assemblyman Sebastian Ridley-Thomas, a Democrat, has introduced Assembly Bill 252, which would prohibit cities from implementing so-called “Netflix taxes.” Pasadena and other cities have been weighing whether to extend existing taxes on cable-television subscribers to those who used video-streaming services.

Tuesday, January 24, 2017

Gov. Jerry Brown predicted last fall that new legislation and administrative actions essential to preserving the state's ambitious climate strategy would give him leverage to negotiate a cap-and-trade extension.

"They're going to get commands to do things," Brown said, directing his remarks at the state's powerful business interests, "and they're going to plead for a market system called cap and trade so they can respond in a way that's more beneficial to their bottom line."

Now, the Democratic governor is urging lawmakers to renew the cap-and-trade program amid signs his forecast was prophetic. Soon after Brown released his proposal this month, the Western States Petroleum Association indicated that the oil industry prefers the flexibility of a market mechanism to more burdensome policies also being contemplated to reduce greenhouse gases.