LAO: Revenue Before the Most Painful Cuts

Mac Taylor has been generally to the right of the former Legislative Analyst, Elizabeth Hill.  Nonetheless, today Taylor says increase revenue before axing some of the most basic components of the safety net.

“Some of the most severe cuts proposed by the governor could be avoided by adopting selected revenue increases,” Legislative Analyst Mac Taylor said in a report analyzing the governor’s budget plan.

To retain safety net “core services for those most in need,” Taylor suggested the state consider cutting deeper into California’s university system, trial courts and public safety local assistance grants.

“We believe there there are opportunities for savings beyond those identified by the administration (in those areas),” his report said.

Rather than imposing a general tax increase, revenue could be generated by increasing fees, delaying scheduled tax reductions, changing tax-expenditure programs or by imposing targeted tax increases, Taylor’s report said.

Increasing alcohol taxes and permanently extending the higher vehicle license fee that was approved last year, as a temporary measure, are two examples of targeted tax hikes Taylor recommended. (SacBee)

Now, mind you, these aren’t the real revenue recommendations we need, but to be frank, this is a better deal than the Republicans are really prepared to go.  Many of these are majority vote measures, but the Legislature still needs the Governor’s approval for at least a few more months.