Budget and Finance

Pension costs burden CA budget

Monday, May 19th, 2014

Gov. Jerry Brown still hasn't gotten his state's budget problems beat. A high-profile new report showed California still faces massive liabilities extending far into the future. The study, released by the nonpartisan Legislative Analyst's Office, tallied over $340 billion in debts, deferred ...

Brown submits May Revise budget

Wednesday, May 14th, 2014

Yesterday, Gov. Jerry Brown submitted the May Revision of his 2014-15 budget proposal with a mixture of line-item revisions. Most  were budges that only moved the budget slightly. The fiscal year begins July 1. Over his January budget proposal, Brown increased the overall General Fund operating b...

19 CA members of Congress take pensions

Tuesday, May 13th, 2014

Former San Diego city councilman and mayoral candidate Carl DeMaio, who brought comprehensive pension reform to San Diego, is taking his fight to Capitol Hill. A new report published by the GOP congressional candidate identified 102 members of Congress that receive public pensions on top of their...

AB2170 could boost local taxes

Friday, May 9th, 2014

  A majority of Californians would rather have lower taxes and fewer government services than higher taxes and more government services, according to a recent Field poll. But the drive for higher taxes and more government services continues unabated in Sacramento. The Assembly Committee o...

CA cities gain tool to chop retirement benefits

Wednesday, May 7th, 2014

A cliche in government circles is that there is no "magic bullet" available to address many big, difficult problems. But thanks to a recent action by the California Supreme Court, many local governments now do have a "magic bullet" to reduce their unfunded retirement benefits. On April 30, the co...

CA Dems seek new corporate tax

Tuesday, May 6th, 2014

A new bill would hike taxes on corporations with the biggest spread in paid wages. The legislation, Senate Bill 1372, was recently introduced by state Sens. Mark DeSaulnier, D-Concord, and Loni Hancock, D-Oakland. It passed the Senate Governance and Finance Committee late last month. Rather ...

‘Job-Killer’ bill would allow split-roll parcel tax

Friday, May 2nd, 2014

Just days after Toyota announced plans to move its corporate headquarters to Texas, the California Senate is poised to adopt a bill that would create a split-roll parcel tax system. Senate Bill 1021, introduced by state Sen. Lois Wolk, D-Davis, would allow school districts to impose different p...

Gov. Brown will see Mexico’s low taxes in action

Tuesday, April 29th, 2014
Mexico coat of arms, wikimedia

Gov. Jerry Brown today announced that in July he will lead a California trade mission to Mexico. He "will be joined by a diverse delegation of California government, business, economic development, investment and policy leaders on the Mission, which will be organized by the California Chamber of Com...

CA vies with other states’ film tax credits

Monday, April 28th, 2014

The market for movie and television production is now an incentive-laden free-for-all. Faced with fierce competition from statehouses around the country, two California assemblymen have introduced a new bill upping the stakes in the tax credit arms race. Assembly Bill 1839 has been introduced...

San Bernardino bankruptcy shows pensions crowding out services

Wednesday, April 23rd, 2014
San Bernardino city seaL BANKRUPT

  In his novel “The Sun Also Rises,” California novelist Ernest Hemingway wrote, “How do you go bankrupt? Two ways: Gradually, then suddenly.” Case in point: the City of San Bernardino, which filed for bankruptcy in 2012. The pace of municipal bankruptcy there has been slow beca...