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Keyword: taxandspend

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  • San Jose unions sue to block pension reform

    06/06/2012 12:52:25 PM PDT · by SmithL · 32 replies
    San Jose Mercury News ^ | 6/6/12 | John Woolfolk
    San Jose police officers Wednesday made good on promises to legally challenge San Jose's voter-approved pension reform with a lawsuit filed in Santa Clara County Superior Court. San Jose Police Officers' Association President Jim Unland said the lawsuit argues that the measure -- approved by almost 70 percent of voters Tuesday -- violates employees' "vested rights" to their pensions. He based that on a history of court rulings that effectively hold that government employers cannot cut back workers' retirement plans without offering a comparable benefit in return. The officers asked the court to block implementation of the measure's provisions until...
  • CALIFORNIA: Voters sent clear message they want fiscal responsibility

    06/06/2012 12:44:10 PM PDT · by SmithL · 7 replies
    Contra Costa Times ^ | 6/6/12 | Contra Costa Times editorial
    Voters sent a clear message Tuesday to their local leaders: get your financial houses in order. Don't ask for more money until you start responsibly spending what we've already given you. We're tired of losing public services as you siphon off our tax money to pay mounting costs of overly generous public-employee retirement benefits. Nowhere in the East Bay was that message clearer than the city of Alameda and the East Contra Costa Fire District, two very different public agencies that were both asking for more money, but had yet to address their badly underfunded pension systems. Voters resoundingly rejected...
  • Cigarette tax fails by narrow margin

    06/06/2012 8:12:53 AM PDT · by SmithL · 19 replies
    San Francisco Chronicle ^ | 6/6/12 | Vivian Ho
    A measure that would have increased state taxes on cigarettes by a dollar was narrowly defeated, the Secretary of State's office reported early Wednesday. Proposition 29, which would have raised $810 million a year for cancer research and smoking cessation programs, lost by just 1.6 percent of the votes, with almost 51 percent of voters saying no and just more than 49 percent voting yes. The measure would have made California - which currently has a lower tobacco tax than 32 other states - the state with the 16th-highest cigarette tax in the country.
  • Prop. 29 will win, cigarette smuggling will rise

    06/03/2012 5:51:20 AM PDT · by SmithL · 19 replies
    San Francisco Chronicle ^ | 6/3/12 | Willie Brown
    Here's a primary prediction: Despite being seriously outspent by big tobacco, the Proposition 29 people get a last-minute infusion of campaign cash and squeak out a win for their measure tacking another $1-per-pack tax onto cigarettes. No sooner does the new tax go into effect, my street contacts tell me, than Indian tribes will open tobacco shops at their casinos, where buyers can escape state taxes and buy cigarettes on the cheap.Just as quickly, smugglers will start rolling in truckloads of smokes from Nevada, Arizona and Oregon, as street dealers realize there is more money to be made selling hot...
  • California Democrats bid for two-thirds control of state Senate

    05/28/2012 9:43:49 AM PDT · by SmithL · 36 replies
    Sacramento Bee ^ | 5/28/12 | Torey Van Oot
    Bill Berryhill's pitch to voters at a recent candidates forum came down to more than just his positions on issues affecting San Joaquin County's 5th Senate District. It was about the balance of power in the Capitol."Do you realize if one party gets sole power, you think you're taxed to the max now? Guess what? You better grab your wallet, because they only have one way to go and that's to tax and spend, tax and spend," the Republican assemblyman told the crowd at Tracy's Kimball High. Berryhill is running in one of a handful of newly drawn swing seats...
  • Charles Munger's push for Beth Gaines becomes campaign issue

    05/24/2012 8:46:16 AM PDT · by SmithL
    SacBee: Capitol Alert ^ | 5/23/12 | Jim Sanders
    Competing radio ads spotlight wealthy Stanford physicist Charles T. Munger Jr.'s deep-pockets support for incumbent Assemblywoman Beth Gaines against challenger Andy Pugno in a Placer County-based Assembly district. Spirit of Democracy, an advocacy group funded largely by Munger, has poured more than $175,000 into a radio and mail promotional campaign for Gaines this month. Pugno is attempting to create a backlash by painting the GOP activist as a liberal. Munger is a major GOP donor and was a key financial backer of redistricting reform. He has pushed to moderate the Republican Party by downplaying divisive issues such as abortion, gun...
  • How about this budget solution? Do the same work for less pay

    05/23/2012 12:23:38 PM PDT · by Mark Landsbaum · 5 replies
    Even if Gov. Jerry Brown and his ilk get a horrendous tax increase in November (and that’s far from a sure thing), chances are the state will have less money to spend than the taxers and spenders who run the show want to spend. So, what to do? . . . Even though our first preference is to reduce the size and scope of government, which necessarily would mean far fewer people collecting checks written by taxpayers, we’re not unsympathetic to folks facing the loss of a job. Even a superfluous job. So, how about this approach while we let...
  • Jerry Brown struggles on three fronts on state budget

    05/23/2012 7:18:17 AM PDT · by SmithL · 12 replies
    Sacramento Bee ^ | 5/23/12 | Dan Walters
    As the state budget's deficit widens, Gov. Jerry Brown is being thrust into a three-front political battle. He must not only persuade voters to pass his sales and income tax package, but, implicitly, persuade them to reject a rival tax measure just for schools. Meanwhile, Brown is pressing liberal Democratic legislators to ignore their political DNA by making deeper cuts in health and welfare programs, not only to close the deficit but to bolster appeals to voters for new taxes. "It's not easy," Brown told hundreds of business and civic figures gathered Tuesday in Sacramento for the annual Host Breakfast....
  • California Democrats balk at deeper cuts for state's poorest residents

    05/20/2012 12:35:06 PM PDT · by SmithL · 24 replies
    Sacramento Bee ^ | 5/20/12 | Kevin Yamamura
    Legislative Democrats aren't organizing a bake sale just yet, but they say they will desperately search for cash in the coming weeks to avoid the most severe cuts proposed by Gov. Jerry Brown. Saying the state's budget deficit has risen from $9.2 billion to $15.7 billion, the Democratic governor has proposed more cuts to programs that serve the state's poorest residents. Brown has described it as a "day of reckoning" and wants his fellow Democrats to slash as much as possible before he asks voters to hike taxes on sales and high-income earners in November. But Democrats signaled immediately that...
  • California's budget problems linger while many other states shape up

    05/19/2012 11:20:36 AM PDT · by SmithL · 19 replies
    Sacramento Bee ^ | 5/19/12 | David Siders
    The pile-on was in full effect within hours of Gov. Jerry Brown's announcement this week that California's budget deficit had grown to $15.7 billion, with The Week giving its national audience a summary of the Golden State's financial affairs. "California's financial apocalypse," the magazine offered. "A concise guide." Fox News played the Red Hot Chili Peppers' "Californication," and host Greg Gutfeld proclaimed Brown captain of "the Titanic that is California, a state so broke it may ask Greece for a loan." On Friday, the Democratic governor slapped back on national TV. "This is not Europe," Brown told Charlie Rose on...
  • Maryland Assembly OKs $260M tax hike, teacher pension shift

    05/17/2012 7:28:51 AM PDT · by C19fan · 37 replies
    Washington Times ^ | May 16, 2012 | David Hill
    The Maryland General Assembly passed a $260 million tax increase Wednesday as it adjourned from a three-day special session that ended with Gov. Martin O'Malley saying he will bring lawmakers back for another session this summer. The House gave final approval to two bills that will raise income taxes and shift a portion of teacher pension costs to counties to balance the state’s $35.5 billion budget, which is nearly $1 billion larger than last year’s spending plan.
  • State Employee Pensions to Cost California $3.7 Billion [And Gov. Moonbeam Wants More Taxes!]

    05/16/2012 6:04:29 PM PDT · by Steelfish · 6 replies
    NY Times ^ | May 16, 2012
    State Employee Pensions to Cost California $3.7 Billion May 16, 2012 SAN FRANCISCO (Reuters) - California will pay about $3.7 billion for state employees' pension in its next fiscal year, more than it now pays but less than the state set aside for retirement-related expenses in the prior fiscal year, the state's pension fund said on Wednesday. The California Public Employees' Retirement System, best known as Calpers, is receiving $3.5 billion from the state government, down from $3.9 billion in the prior fiscal year. The anticipated $213 million increase in the state's contribution for the next fiscal year reflects a...
  • Steinberg: Democrats seeking alternatives to some budget cuts {in the Golden State}

    05/16/2012 4:05:51 PM PDT · by SmithL · 6 replies
    SacBee: Capitol Alert ^ | 5/16/12 | Torey Van Oot
    Senate President Pro Tem Darrell Steinberg today repeated a pledge to look for budget solutions that would allow lawmakers to preserve some services targeted with steep cuts under Gov. Jerry Brown's revised budget plan. "I said on Monday, I'm not looking for a public fight here," the Sacramento Democrat said this morning. "We're looking to work collaboratively and yet not be afraid to have our differences or air our differences with the other stakeholders, the other parties, but come to a resolution where we can in fact buy out some of the worst cuts." The revised budget proposal released by...
  • California politicians bet big

    05/16/2012 9:26:47 AM PDT · by SmithL · 4 replies
    Sacramento Bee ^ | 5/16/12 | Dan Walters
    Poker players often use the phrase "betting on the come" to describe a willingness, if instincts and odds indicate, to wager big on the hope that they will draw winning cards. That's a perfectly valid tactic when one is playing with one's own money and therefore bearing the risk. But is it appropriate for California politicians to bet on the come by approving many billions of dollars in spending on very shaky assumptions that the money will be there when it's needed to pay the bills? Risk was the underlying theme of two hearings in the Capitol on Tuesday. One...
  • Americans for Prosperity: Nashville 'under attack' by mayor's tax increase

    05/15/2012 8:46:59 AM PDT · by SmithL · 3 replies
    Nashville City Paper ^ | 5/15/12 | Joey Garrison
    Mayor Karl Dean’s proposed property tax hike, which has already drawn the ire of the Nashville Tea Party, has reverberated up to the conservative-backed Americans for Prosperity political advocacy organization. Arlington, Va.-based Americans for Prosperity, an advocacy group that professes to educate citizens on education policies, has highlighted Dean’s tax proposal as its top story on its website.“Nashville taxpayers are under attack by Mayor Dean’s proposed 13 percent property tax increase,” reads a short blog post penned by the organization’s Tennessee state director Brad Stevens.“Taxpayers should not be on the hook for Nashville city leaders’ lack of fiscal responsibility,” the post continues.Oddly,...
  • Jerry Brown aims new budget at tax vote

    05/15/2012 8:29:04 AM PDT · by SmithL · 8 replies
    Sacramento Bee ^ | 5/15/12 | Dan Walters
    Just a few months ago, Gov. Jerry Brown chastised "declinists" and "dystopian journalists" for their pessimism about California, particularly about emerging from a deep recession. "Contrary to those critics who fantasize that California is a failed state, I see unspent potential and incredible opportunity," Brown told the Legislature in January, citing supposed signs of economic recovery. On Monday, however, Brown blamed a sluggish economy for revenues falling billions of dollars short of the rosy estimates in the budget he signed last June. "You can never get it quite right," Brown told reporters as he released a revised budget aimed at...
  • Shortfall in California’s Budget Swells to $16 Billion

    05/12/2012 5:06:21 PM PDT · by reaganaut1 · 44 replies
    New York Times ^ | May 12, 2012 | ADAM NAGOURNEY
    The state budget shortfall in California has increased dramatically in the last six months, forcing state officials to assemble a series of new spending cuts that are likely to mean further reductions to schools, health care and other social programs already battered by nearly five years of budget retrenchment, state officials announced on Saturday. Gov. Jerry Brown, disclosing the development in a video posted on YouTube, said that California’s shortfall was now projected to be $16 billion, up from $9.2 billion in January. Mr. Brown said that he would propose a revised budget on Monday to deal with it. “We...
  • Jerry Brown submits tax petitions, says 'difficult' budget cuts next

    05/11/2012 4:22:21 PM PDT · by SmithL · 13 replies
    Sacramento Bee ^ | 5/11/12 | David Siders and Torey Van Oot
    In one choreographed appearance at the office of the Sacramento County Registrar of Voters, Gov. Jerry Brown's campaign to raise taxes appeared on Friday to take shape. A week after announcing he had collected enough signatures to qualify the initiative for the November ballot, Brown – accompanied by a new political consultant, the first lady and his dog – turned several boxes of them in. The event came just days before Brown is expected to propose deeper spending reductions in a budget revision Monday to deal with a deficit that likely has grown beyond $10 billion. The Democratic governor cast...
  • California needs huge investment to create jobs

    05/08/2012 8:06:47 AM PDT · by SmithL · 24 replies
    Sacramento Bee ^ | 5/8/12 | Dan Walters
    California is struggling to emerge from the worst recession since the Great Depression and has more than 2 million unemployed workers, plus countless others who have given up seeking work out of frustration and/or have fled to other states. Clearly the state needs many billions of dollars in job-creating investment. But its attractiveness to that investment is, to say the least, problematic, given its relatively high tax burden, its dense regulatory structure, its deficiencies in education, transportation and water supply, and its tangled government finances. Chief Executive magazine's most recent survey of corporate leaders finds that California ranks dead last...
  • Upcoming tax battle could be a nasty feud

    05/07/2012 4:37:54 PM PDT · by SmithL · 17 replies
    Sacramento Bee ^ | 5/7/12 | Dan Walters
    Let's get ready to rumble. In this corner is California Gov. Jerry Brown. In that corner is Molly Munger, a very wealthy civil rights attorney. Brown and his union allies want voters to raise their own sales taxes, plus income taxes on the most affluent, to narrow a chronic budget gap. Munger and the state PTA want to raise income taxes on all but the lowest-income Californians to provide more money to schools. Brown, desperate to eliminate competition that might confuse voters, merged his initial tax proposal into that of a rival group that wanted to tax the rich even...