Some Republicans Back Election on Taxes but Oppose ‘Bridge Tax’
Some Republicans in the state Legislature have indicated that they are open to a fall election on tax measures but still oppose a "bridge tax" to temporarily extend current tax rates until the election, the Contra Costa Times reports.
Gov. Jerry Brown (D) has said that California would face deeper budget cuts if existing tax rates are not extended (Harmon, Contra Costa Times, 6/23).
In March, Brown signed budget bills that included deep cuts to education and health and human services. He initially sought to close the remaining $9.6 billion deficit by imposing additional cuts and holding a special election on taxes. However, Republicans refused to support the tax plan.
Democrats then crafted an alternative budget package that left out the tax measures, allowing them to pass their plan with a simple majority vote. However, Brown vetoed the plan one day after its passage, saying the package "contains legally questionable maneuvers, costly borrowing and unrealistic savings" (California Healthline, 6/22).
Some GOP members say they are willing to place the tax issue on the ballot, along with their proposals for a spending cap and pension reform (Yamamura, "Capitol Alert," Sacramento Bee, 6/23). Republicans said Brown and Democrats are responsible for the budget impasse because they have refused to support the GOP proposals.
Senate Republican Leader Bob Dutton (R-Rancho Cucamonga) said that "the reason there is no budget deal is that the governor, the Democratic majority and their allies won't allow voters the opportunity to reform pensions and state overspending" (Contra Costa Times, 6/23).
No Republicans have said they would support extending vehicle and sales taxes until a fall election ("Capitol Alert," Sacramento Bee, 6/23). GOP members maintain that a bridge tax is unnecessary because the state recently received more than $7 billion in higher-than-expected revenues (Contra Costa Times, 6/23).
Brown Continues Budget Work
Meanwhile, Brown said he is feeling less optimistic that a compromise on taxes will be reached by the start of the new fiscal year on July 1 (York/Goldmacher, Los Angeles Times, 6/24).
The governorÂ said he is continuing to work with GOP lawmakers on his budget plan (Siders, "Capitol Alert," Sacramento Bee, 6/23).
Headlines and links to broadcast coverage on state budget negotiations are provided below.
- "Another Budget Blowup at the Capitol?" (Adler, "KXJZ News," Capital Public Radio, 6/23).
- "California Budget: Republicans Challenge Democrats To Put Budget Up for a Vote Monday" (Small, "KPCC News," KPCC, 6/23).