Analyst Sees $2 Billion Less In Brown Tax 2.0

March 16, 2012 · Filed Under Ballot Measures, CA Budget, Taxes, The Governor · Comments Off 

Governor Jerry Brown is no doubt happy that his modified tax increase initiative has already received its fiscal vetting, less than 48 hours after being formally introduced.

But that vetting doesn't settle on an estimate of how much tax revenue the new initiative will bring in, thus repeating an ongoing disagreement between forecasters that could create some tough politics over how this year's state budget should be crafted.
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The Great Capitol Capital Gains Debate

February 27, 2012 · Filed Under CA Budget, CA Economy · Comments Off 

How much money will come from the richest Californians?

For years, we've all talked about how dependent California government is on the taxes paid by the state's most wealthy. Those dollars, often coming from their investments, can fluctuate from changes in the economy or tax policy.

But this year, the discussion in Sacramento may be almost exclusively about rich Californians -- specifically, how many of their tax dollars can lawmakers reasonably expect to collect?
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Analyst Urges Legislators Think Hard on Brown's Tax Plans

January 11, 2012 · Filed Under CA Budget, Taxes · 1 Comment 

Legislative Analyst Mac Taylor calls Governor Brown's assumptions about tax revenues "a little bit optimistic." But how much is too much? (Photo: KQED/John Myers)

Governor Jerry Brown's quest to have voters approve a multi-million dollar tax increase is key to his plan for balancing the state's books. But might the uncertainty of winning that election force deep spending cuts now by officials who will decide to, instead, assume the worst?

That scenario is one that lawmakers at state Capitol should consider carefully, urges the Legislature's independent budget analyst.
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LAO Predicts Trigger Pulled On Budget Cuts

November 16, 2011 · Filed Under CA Budget, CA Economy · Comments Off 

The annual fiscal forecast of the Legislative Analyst's Office is always interesting to budget wonks, but never so consequential to the services used by millions of Californians as it is this year.

That forecast, released this morning, projects the state will take in $3.7 billion less revenue than the budget signed by Governor Jerry Brown, thus paving the way for potential automatic cuts of almost $2 billion to K-12 schools, higher education, and social services.
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Analyst: Take a Pass on Tinkering With Current Worker Pensions

November 8, 2011 · Filed Under CA Government · 3 Comments 

While referring to Governor Jerry Brown's proposal for changes in public employee pensions as a "bold, excellent starting point," the state's independent fiscal analyst's office nonetheless concludes that neither Brown's proposal -- nor any other -- that seeks to rejigger the terms of the deal for current workers is likely to work.

If legislators take their advice, it means that a major policy and political fight will either be avoided... or ultimately left to an expensive and divisive initiative campaign come November 2012.
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An Education on the Education Budget

February 7, 2011 · Filed Under CA Budget, Education · 2 Comments 

For all of the state tax dollars being spent on California's public schools, here's a statistic that seems to show the impact of several years of budget woes: 17% of the state's K-12 funding is now money being 'borrowed' from what the state is supposed to spend on schools next year.

And the kicker: Governor Jerry Brown's budget raises that 'borrowed from the future' level to 21% of state school funding.
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Brown's Budget: Good Start. How Will It Finish?

January 12, 2011 · Filed Under CA Budget · 4 Comments 

KQED/John Myers

Governor Jerry Brown racked up probably his last seal of approval today for the kickoff campaign in support of his budget proposal, a campaign that's shaping up more like a race.

And like any good race, what's much tougher is the hard slog from here on out... and whether you can make it across the finish line.

Today's tail wind out of the starting blocks came courtesy of a new report from the Legislature's non-partisan budget crunchers.
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Jerry, Meet Gridlock; Gridlock, Jerry.

December 8, 2010 · Filed Under CA Budget, The Governor · 7 Comments 

AP/Rich Pedroncelli

Governor-elect Jerry Brown started Wednesday's unique state budget event with a calm assurance to all in attendance that he wanted to focus on the problems, not possible solutions.

But the audience of state and local lawmakers couldn't contain their partisan potshots, a clear sign that the once-and-future head honcho's honeymoon has already ended, before he even takes office on January 3.
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Sell Those Buildings, But At What Cost?

November 15, 2010 · Filed Under CA Budget · Comments Off 

Photo Dept. of General Services

As soon as next month, 11 office buildings owned and occupied by the state of California will drop the 'owned' part of that description, after clearing a major hurdle this morning that critics continue to say is a budget deal that's penny wise and pound foolish.
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LAO's $25 Billion Bombshell

November 10, 2010 · Filed Under CA Budget · Comments Off 

Getty ImagesYou don't need to read far into today's sobering assessment of California's finances from the Legislature's nonpartisan analysts -- a $25.4 billion deficit-- to find the kind of tough medicine the state needs, but which no elected official will probably ever say:

The solutions needed to balance the budget will mean unavoidably painful sacrifice by today’s Californians. The benefit of this sacrifice would be putting the state on a sound fiscal footing. That sound footing may allow future Californians to live in a place where the annual state budget process is a chance to improve government's ability to serve its residents.

As the saying goes, the truth hurts.
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