And It’s Down to This

Well, at least with Jerry Brown, as opposed to Arnold, on occasion you get a glimpse into what the hell is going on.  And on this occasion, we know what the hell is going on, the Republicans do not want the temporary extensions until a fall election can decide the fate of the rest of the tax extensions.

Gov. Jerry Brown and Republican legislators said Tuesday they are in a budget standoff over whether to extend higher sales and vehicle taxes until a mid-September election.

Without legislative action, the state sales tax is slated to decline by one percentage point and the vehicle license fee by half a percentage point on July 1. Brown wants to forestall those reductions until voters can decide in a fall special election whether to keep higher rates for as many as five years.

“That’s the big sticking point,” Brown said Tuesday in a phone interview.

The Democratic governor and GOP lawmakers said they were close to compromises over a spending cap, pension cuts and environmental regulation changes. Republicans agreed that the tax bridge to the election remains the fundamental divide.(SacBee)

Because all those other things are related to the budget, they got tossed in first? I suppose a more simple explanation is that Brown yielded a bunch of ground to get to the September vote, which now seems reasonably assured, and then just couldn’t give up on the so-called tax bridge.

We have basically until Monday before the Assembly and Senate leaders are going to be demanding some sort of vote.  Whether the handful of votes are there for a tax bridge will likely remain in doubt until that point.  However, given the situation now being that there are, according to Senate GOP leaders, no votes for it, its future remains very iffy.  Of course, we could hope that a few Republicans take a gamble on the shifting political landscape and vote for the bridge, but that will involve a lot of back room dealing with what one can only imagine is a lot of very tough questions of how much the Democratic caucus leaders are going to challenge some of these new Republican leaning (but not guaranteed) seats.

7 thoughts on “And It’s Down to This”

  1. It is hard to overlook that every official, regardless of political affiliation, should have known the required time line if the balanced budget would require revenue from voter approved “tax extensions”.  

    As matters presently stand, any public vote will now occur after the balanced budget is required by Prop. 25 to be submitted to Governor Brown.  So even if 2/3rds of the legislature agreed to three months of “bridge taxes”, there still has to be new cuts to balance the budget and offset the nine months of “extended taxes” that may or may not be approved by a statewide vote.  

  2. I think the GOP is betting that the all-cuts budget won’t be as devastating as Brown/Dems say it will be. Having an election in September on the taxes is fair way to say “if services are so bad you can vote in the taxes to do it.”

    And really if the cuts will be as devastating as the left makes it out to be why put just the extension on the ballot? The support should be there to go all out on a big tax increase, right?

    The fact that the left wants to keep the extension just to minimize the shedding of unionized public employees or their benfits hints that the cuts won’t have an apparent effect on the voters. Only to the Left’s base will be hurt by the cuts.

  3. What a low turn-out election this will be.  And the voters will be more white, more wealthy, and older than the general electorate.  If we must wait until September, why not wait until November 8, when millions more Californians will vote?  A September vote seems a major right-wing victory.  

  4. I was interested in what the proposal was for the spending cap, and why anybody thought it would work better than the one they tried in Colorado–which was, frankly, a disaster.

    So I called the governor’s office and asked about both points. The answer was that they don’t have a formal outline for how the spending cap would work yet. So they couldn’t really address the second part of my question either.

    I think a cap could permanently cripple the California economy and plan to keep an eye on the idea as it develops. I urge Calitics readers to do the same.

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