California’s new state budget deal, expected to be approved starting Tuesday, assumes billions of dollars in extra revenue. If revenue falls short, more cuts will follow.
In our region, we face parcel fees for firefighting, the dismantling of redevelopment agencies and park closures (see analysis and details below).
For all of us, car owners will pay $12 more per year to register their vehicles, and the state would attempt to force online retailers such as Amazon.com to collect sales tax on purchases by California residents.
Universities, courts, social welfare and programs for the elderly, blind, disabled and poor all face cutbacks.
With no bipartisan deal, the state sales tax will drop one percentage point and the vehicle license fee half a percentage point on Friday.
Here are some comments I found telling:
•”I thought we were getting close, but as I look back on it, there is an almost religious reluctance (by Republican lawmakers) to ever deal with the state budget in a way that requires new revenues,” Gov. Jerry Brown said.
•Tax extension initiatives are expected to be put before the voters in November 2012, when Obama will be up for re-election and more Democrats can be expected to head for the polls.
•The “gang that chooses not to govern,” the Democrats term for the GOPers who sat on the sidelines thumbing their noses at political compromise, will still get paid now that a deal is reached.
The best articles I found were here (Los Angeles Times), here (Sacramento Bee) and here (San Francisco Chronicle). The original proposed budget, in detail, is here. Nothing of substance in the local media.
Here’s my regional analysis:
•Fire fees of $150 per parcel for rural homeowners for escalating fire-fighting costs. This has sparked a heated debate — in some cases along the coastal-rural boundaries that increasingly divides our state down the middle. (Forget the NorCal/SoCal, Dodgers/Giants-type rivalry anymore).
The controversial bill, ABx1 29 (Bob Blumenfield, D-Van Nuys) is here. “This is a fair way to deal with these high costs,” argue proponents such as Christine Kehoe (D-San Diego).
Opponents counter it “fleeces” property owners whose property taxes already go to fire-fighting efforts. They also point to “zero” added services.
The opposition by the Regional Council of Rural Counties and the California State Association of Counties is here.
•The budget continues supporting Gov. Brown’s plan to starve the state’s redevelopment agencies. This will greatly impact foothill towns, such as Auburn and Grass Valley, that depend heavily on the money.
“The bills don’t so much kill redevelopment as attempt to starve it to death,” as one report observes. “The first bill eliminates the program and the second bill allows agencies to reconstitute themselves if they dedicate some of their property tax revenue to schools.”
Redevelopment boosters have threatened to sue.
•State parks such as Malakoff Diggins State Historical Park are slated for closure. The list of announces closures are here. Reminder: We had a chance to pass an extra $18 fee per vehicle to keep state parks open. It was defeated, however.
Brown’s budget update from earlier this month — before the new budget deal — is here:
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