David Gamage

David Gamage Explains Tax Commission’s Novel Proposal

The California Report, September 18, 2009 Host Scott Shafer

The business net receipts tax is a way to implement something like a value-added tax at the state level. Nothing quite like this has ever been tried before. So this is a novel tax instrument relying on advances in economic theory, but it has some characteristics that are similar to sales taxes—it’s a consumption tax—and some characteristics similar to business-income taxes. It can be viewed as a hybrid between a business-income tax and a sales tax.

David Gamage Says Part of Budget Deal Resembles Income Tax Increase

The Oakland Tribune, July 25, 2009 by Josh Richman

“It has some flavor of raising taxes without actually raising taxes,” agreed David Gamage, a tax law expert and associate professor at University of California-Berkeley’s Boalt Hall School of Law. “It may be the most obvious impact for some taxpayers because you actually see the money coming out of your paycheck, but in the context where there are only bad (state budget) options, I don’t think this is going to strike anybody as the worst option.”

David Gamage Examines California’s Budget Woes

Radio Netherlands Worldwide, July 2, 2009 Host Marijke Peters

Imagine that a business runs out of money, but still has a bunch of debts. It goes bankrupt. States can’t go bankrupt, so some bills just end up not being paid…. It’s widely agreed that California’s budgeting process is dysfunctional. The combination of the two-thirds majority rules to pass budgets and two political parties that vehemently disagree on taxes and spending, repeatedly create paralysis.

David Gamage Describes Legal Scenario if Oakland Declares Bankruptcy

KQED-FM, Forum with Michael Krasny, June 10, 2009 Host Michael Krasny
http://www.kqed org/epArchive/R906100900

“The city’s contracts are potentially all up in the air. More or less everything the city does is reviewable by a bankruptcy judge in a bankruptcy court. The bankruptcy court can tear up contracts that otherwise the city couldn’t alter—and force the city to restructure its finances in ways that the political leaders wouldn’t necessarily approve. In fact, the last thing any entity, public or private, wants to happen is for lots of talk to be out there about bankruptcy without bankruptcy actually happening, because you get all the costs without any of the potential benefits.”

David Gamage Examines Tax Battle between Archdiocese and City of San Francisco

San Francisco Chronicle, June 6, 2009 by Marisa Lagos

UC Berkeley assistant law professor David Gamage said cases such as this one are not as clear cut as both sides would like. “I would say an inquiry like this is very fact intensive,” he said. “The law recognizes that taxpayers have the right to organize their affairs to minimize their taxes, but only within the bounds of what is legal.”