A longtime Sacramento budget watcher is calling Governor Brown’s budget plan “more realistic” than most.
Brown wants to plug the state’s $26 billion shortfall with $12 billion in cuts to state services and $12 billion in additional tax revenue. To get that additional revenue, Brown plans to ask voters to extend some recent tax increases for another five years.
California Budget Project’s Jean Ross says voters may go for the governor’s tax proposal because he’s offered an incentive – he’ll shift the revenue to local governments so they can provide services now run by the state. Ross says voters are more likely to tax themselves if the money flows into their own communities.
"I think we’re all tired of California’s recurring budget crisis," says Ross, "particularly those of us who work here in Sacramento – and I think the one thing this budget would do is begin to put California on the path to a balanced budget."
Ross says a shift of services from state to counties and cities won’t reap immediate savings, but would be more efficient and could save taxpayers money in the long run.