Perspectives and Issues (Table of Contents)

2009-10 Budget Analysis Series: Revenues

February 6, 2009

 


To assist the Legislature in resolving the 2009‑10 budget gap, we developed a list of proposals that would raise more than $5 billion in each of 2009‑10 and 2010‑11. Our proposed options include eliminating or modifying 12 tax expenditure programs for a savings of $1.7 billion over the next two years. In general, these recommendations are based on our conclusion that these programs lack a strong rationale or are not sufficiently effective or efficient in achieving their stated goals. We also identify two targeted rate increases—increasing the vehicle license fee (VLF) to 1 percent and a three-year temporary PIT surcharge—that, combined, would raise $3.4 billion in 2009‑10 and $3.5 billion in 2010‑11. These options could be considered by the Legislature in lieu of any of the Governor’s revenue-related proposals. We believe these proposals have merit, both for tax policy reasons (for example, the VLF increase would result in all property in California taxed at the same rate) and for reducing the net impact of any rate increases on taxpayers (as both the VLF and PIT are deductible for federal tax purposes).