On October 7, 2003, California Governor Gray Davis became the second Governor in American history to be recalled. Multiple factors contributed to his lack of popularity, from natural disasters to record budget shortfalls in the wake of the dotcom bust, but for many the tipping point came when he declared that he would be tripling California’s motor vehicle tax to shore up the state’s budget. Most of Davis’s challengers pledged to repeal the increase. Tom McClintock, who came in third in the recall election and now serves as one of California’s Representatives, made lowering vehicle taxes the main focus of his campaign. Eventual winner Arnold Schwarzenegger made his feelings on the increase clear by dropping a wrecking ball onto a junker with the words “Davis Car Tax” spray painted onto the side. Governor Schwarzenegger reduced vehicle taxes down to their previous levels his first day in office.
Lyle, Noelle, "Driving us Crazy: A History and Analysis of New Haven’s Personal Property Taxes" (2011). Student Legal History Papers. Paper 15.