New Podcast: Attorney Edward Teyssier on Taxes vs. Fees in California

March 17, 2010

In this week’s podcast, my colleague Joe Henchman, the Tax Foundation’s Tax Counsel and Director of State Projects, interviews San Diego attorney Edward Teyssier, who spearheaded the charge against the city for collecting a “processing fee” associated with the city’s rental tax. In Weisblat v. City of San Diego, in which the Tax Foundation filed a friend-of-the-court brief, a California court ruled that the so-called “fee” was really an unconstitutional tax.

Teyssier discusses the case, its impact on similar “fees” elsewhere in the state as well as the important distinction between taxes and fees.

“I do think we have created some precedent because there were a number of other cities — in fact I think there still are a number of cities throughout the state of California — that either were charging a processing fee very similar to this or still are,” Teyssier says. “Since the case came down a lot of those cities have stopped collecting those fees and some who were thinking about imposing those fees have abandoned those concepts.”

For more, see Tax Foundation Fiscal Fact No. 160, “Charging Taxpayers for Tax Collection is a Tax: Weisblat v. City of San Diego or see the Tax Foundation’s amicus brief in the case.

Listen to the full podcast here, or check out all of the Tax Foundation’s Tax Policy Podcasts.


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