Investigation-Budget and Finance

Do Californians want to raise oil taxes?

Thursday, May 15th, 2014

  Are Californians ready for another tax increase? That's what California hedge-fund manager Tom Steyer sought to find out in his “People’s Poll” on whether voters would support an added oil extraction tax in California. The tax would be 9.9 percent on a barrel of oil. It would ra...

LAO: Possible 2016 recession would devour budget surplus

Monday, November 25th, 2013
length of u.s. recessions

  There is good news and bad news in the impartial California Legislative Analyst’s recent release of its “2014-2015 Budget: California’s Fiscal Outlook.” The good news, “Stunning turnaround: California has budget surpluses as far as LAO can see.” That's the San Jose Mercury New...

State of CA worsened Desert Hot Springs’ financial problems

Monday, November 18th, 2013
Desert hot springs

Desert Hot Springs is a poor city east of Banning. The city's median income of $31,356 is 55 percent of California's $57,287. It also has a reputation for crystal meth production straight out of  the television series "Breaking Bad." Hot and poor, Desert Hot Springs now is in the brink of munici...

Life imitates sci-fi: Why CA pension crisis is sure to get far worse

Monday, September 16th, 2013

The debate in California over public employee pensions has grown familiar in recent times. Those who demand reform finally appear to have momentum. In Sacramento, Gov. Jerry Brown won passage of a pension reform measure in September 2012. While many thought it didn't go nearly far enough, its app...

Audit uncovers embers in Cal Fire slush fund

Tuesday, September 10th, 2013

A new state audit shows that in 2005 a secret, $3.66 million off-the-books account was established by the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection. The Wildlife Fire Investigation Training and Equipment Fund, a private, nonprofit account, was filled through lawsuit settlement proceeds. ...

Is California the next Detroit?

Tuesday, August 27th, 2013
detroit michigan

Editor’s Note: has been following Detroit’s economic situation for several years, and in light of its recent filing for Chapter 9 bankruptcy, we are re-releasing a series of articles detailing the city’s challenges. This piece was originally posted on CalWatchdog, August 14, 2...

Will California become Detroit on the Pacific?

Monday, August 26th, 2013

Editor's Note: has been following Detroit's economic situation for several years, and in light of its recent filing for Chapter 9 bankruptcy, we are re-releasing a series of articles detailing the city's challenges. This piece was originally posted on CalWatchdog, February 18, 2013....

Vehicle-fee extension would funnel taxes of less affluent to the rich

Monday, July 8th, 2013

July 8, 2013 By Dave Roberts Assembly Democrats, many of whom see themselves as champions of the downtrodden, instead became reverse Robin Hoods recently, robbing from the poor and middle class to give to the rich. Nearly every Democrat along with two Republicans approved AB 8 on June 27, which ex...

Governors luring away CA jobs

Tuesday, April 30th, 2013

April 30, 2013 By Brian Calle As Gov. Jerry Brown recently traveled to China to promote trade and search for Chinese investment for the state’s controversial high-speed rail project, two other state governors, Bob McDonnell of Virginia and Gary Herbert of Utah, made a joint trip to California to...

Voters can dry up ‘inevitable’ tax on rain

Monday, February 25th, 2013
Voters can dry up ‘inevitable’ tax on rain

Feb. 25, 2013 By Wayne Lusvardi The lyrics to Celine Dion song, “Rain Tax (It’s Inevitable),” suggested that some day government was bound to levy a tax on natural rainfall. By 2009, the California legislature voted to impose just such a rain tax through Assembly Bill 2554.  The tax is pu...

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