It turns out that those income, sales and vehicle tax hikes passed as an emergency budgetary measure last year may survive for some time to come. The Los Angeles Times reports (HT: Joe Henchman at the Tax Foundation) that incoming Gov. Jerry Brown will ask Californians to approve an extension of the hikes, a move in keeping with his campaign promise to submit all tax increases to a popular vote. From the Times:
Some Democratic legislators would like to extend the temporary taxes to help balance the budget. Gov.-elect Jerry Brown is readying a budget plan that would call for a special election to ask voters to extend the soon-to-expire tax hikes, according to people involved in the discussions.
“I have a hard time seeing that they let go of this revenue,” said Esmael Adibi, director of Anderson Center for Economic Research at Chapman University.
In 2009, lawmakers also raised the vehicle license fee from .65% to 1.15% of a car’s value and hiked the state sales tax rate by 1 percentage point.
California’s budget troubles are not going away anytime soon. As Reason Foundation’s Adam Summers recently pointed out, the state’s huge pension obligations will stretch the budget for years to come.
In that context, it’s difficult to see how a “temporary” extension of “temporary” taxes will not become next year’s “temporary, emergency, 100% necessary” fix. The pain continues for Californians…