Democrats' Budget Plan: Raise Taxes Without GOP Votes
The state legislature is expected to vote this morning on a Democratic plan to reduce the state’s 40 billion dollar budget shortfall. A vote had been scheduled for late last night, but was called off as leaders negotiated with the Governor.
Wednesday, December 17, 2008
GOP lawmakers have refused to raise taxes
to balance the budget – They say it would cripple the economy. So now Democrats are going around them. Their newest plan is an 18 billion dollar
measure. It hikes the gas tax by 13
cents a gallon, increases the sales tax by three-quarters of a cent and
includes a two-and-a-half percent surcharge on state income taxes. It also includes Governor Schwarzenegger’s
proposal for a tax on oil produced in the state. And as Senate Leader Darrel Steinberg points
out – it doesn’t even solve the whole problem:
“If we could do 41 billion dollars here
today, we would do it, but 18 billion is 44% and it’s a heck of a start.”
say they can pass the plan without Republican support. By law it takes a two-thirds vote to pass new
taxes. But in this case, Democrats plan
to cut some taxes – then pass a separate, higher fee instead. Fees only require a simple majority
vote. Republicans say the plan is bad
news for the state’s economy and a legal challenge is likely.
Democrats say at Governor Schwarzenegger’s
request, they’re adding economic stimulus measures aimed at creating jobs. However it’s not yet clear whether the
Governor will sign the measure if it passes.