Archived: EDITORIAL: Rise In Tax Revenues May Blindside Governor


Things are looking better in the California economy.

Or are they?

Governor Jerry Brown has announced that a state revenue influx of $6.6 billion has lowered the state’s estimated $15 billion deficit, which he says means more money for schools and other services.

Instead of jumping for joy, however, a number of economists and budget watchers are worried news of the added revenue, mostly from an increase in personal income taxes paid by California’s highest income residents, might not in the long run be good news for the state.

Like the governor, they are concerned that the sense of urgency Brown has been pushing to enable him to extend certain tax hikes may go down the tubes, and they are worried that the long-term structural changes needed to avoid the state’s “boon or bust” economic cycles and spending sprees might be pushed off once again.

But while we don’t know if the increase in tax revenues will continue for the rest of the year, we urge the legislature and Governor Brown to not continue to push for the huge tax hikes he has been proposing, but to moderate his expectations and give all Californians, especially the working and middle class, the break so many desperately need.

Too often, tax increases are placed on the back of middle class families who have no organized lobby for their interests.

Wealthy wage earners and corporations are given tax breaks and loopholes in hopes it will lead to greater spending and investment, the same is true for corporations.

Low-income workers, however, are subjected to recessive taxes that place a heavier burden on them than their wealthy fellow residents.

And when revenue is low, it is the most vulnerable who are asked to take the brunt of cuts to services.

We are not anti-taxation, but we do believe that all taxpayers have a right to benefit from an improving economy, and that should apply first to families with children, because children don’t only need schools, they need a home, nourishment, clothing, health care and parents who can work to provide these necessities for them.

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