Thursday, May 21, 2009

In the Face of $1.3 Billion Shortfall, Legislature Wants to Raise Taxes

It will happen, probably on the 30th of September. I went through this personally in September of 2007. We endured a one-week "lockdown" in the State House until the Speaker got his tax increases to balance the budget. The Dems could only muster 55 of the needed 56 votes, but two "Republicans" obliged and gave him the votes he needed to enact a huge $1.5 billion increase in personal and business taxes.

Get ready for Deja-Vu (all over again). The shortfall for THIS year, which ends September 30 is $1.3 billion and the predicted shortfall in general fund revenue for the 09-10 budget year will be at least $1.5 billion. There is not nearly enough intestinal fortitude to stop a tax increase from moving forward, (and even less courage to make the needed cuts.) Many proposals have already been "run up the flagpole."

Conservatives should be encouraged by the recent defeat of ALL the tax proposals on the ballot in California this week. They did approve one measure by a 75-25 margin; a denial of pay increases for elected officials when the budget is in deficit.

I opined a few weeks ago that only Mike Bishop, Majority Leader in the Senate has the power to stop a tax hike. After what happened two years ago, I believe this time, he will refuse to take any vote on a new tax hike. Stay tuned...

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