California, like Greece is perpetually in fiscal trouble. Overoptimistic revenue forecasts coupled with spending $2 billion more than expected has California in a deep hole. Governor Jerry Brown has the same non-solution as ever, hike taxes.
Brown wants a "temporary" (as in seven years) tax hike. Given we all know there are no such things as temporary tax hikes in California (seven years is permanent enough in the first place), and also given the California school budget needs an axe, I say let him.
Please consider California deficit has soared to $16 billion, Gov. Jerry Brown says
Gov. Jerry Brown announced on Saturday that the state's deficit has ballooned to $16 billion, a huge increase over his $9.2-billion estimate in January.
Lawmakers and others were hoping that a rebounding economy would help the state avoid steep cuts to social services. But revenue in April, the most important month of the year for income taxes, fell far short of expectations, leading to a shortfall of at least $3 billion in the current fiscal year.
The state has also spent $2.1 billion more than expected, according to the controller, further worsening California's financial health.
Advocates involved in budget discussions say they expect deeper cuts to social services than Brown originally proposed in January. Union officials are also in negotiations with administration officials about ways to reduce state payroll costs, an issue that wasn't on the table earlier this year.
Brown has said there will be even deeper cuts, mostly to public education, if voters do not improve tax hikes in November. He is seeking a quarter-cent increase in the state sales tax for four years and a seven-year hike on incomes of $250,000 or more that will range from 1 to 3 percentage points. He says the measure would raise $9 billion in the upcoming budget year.