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March 23, 2009 - Presented to Assembly Revenue and Taxation Committee
February 13, 2009 - Presented to Commission on the 21st Century Economy
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).
January 5, 2009 - This report was prepared pursuant to Chapter 844, Statutes of 2004 (SB 1534, Johnson) which expands the income eligibility criteria for use of the 540 2EZ tax form in filing resident personal income taxes (PITs). The measure also requires the Legislative Analyst’s Office to study the impact of the law change.
November 20, 2008 - The state’s struggling economy has severely reduced expected revenues. Combined with rising state expenses, we project that the state will need $27.8 billion in budget solutions over the 2008-09 and 2009-10 fiscal years. The state’s revenue collapse is so dramatic and the underlying economic factors are so weak that we forecast huge budget shortfalls through 2013-14 absent corrective action. From 2010-11 through 2013-14, we project annual shortfalls that are consistently in the range of $22 billion. Closing a projected $28 billion budget shortfall will be a monumental task. We believe the Legislature must take major ongoing actions by both reducing base spending and increasing revenues. If the Legislature has any hope of developing a fiscally responsible 2009–10 budget, it must begin laying the groundwork now.
July 24, 2008 - Submitted Pursuant to Chapter 868, Statutes of 2004 (AB 263, Oropeza)
April 7, 2008 - Presented to: Assembly Revenue and Taxation committee
February 27, 2008 - Presented to Senate Revenue and Taxation Committee
February 20, 2008 - The Governor’s budget includes almost no new revenue-raising proposals. Given the magnitude of the budget problem, we examine the state’s existing tax structure in the same way as the spending side--with an eye towards reducing inefficient or ineffective provisions. In this section, we discuss proposals that look at the revenue side of the budget. In so doing, we have applied the same approach as with direct spending programs--that is, we have examined tax-related provisions referred to as tax expenditure programs (TEPs)--and recommended changes to those that are not achieving their stated purposes or are of a lower priority.
November 16, 2007 - Tax expenditure programs (TEPs) are features of the tax code—including credits, deductions, exclusions, and exemptions—that enable a targeted set of taxpayers to reduce their taxes relative to what they would pay under a “basic” tax-law structure. The state’s TEPs number in the hundreds and are valued in the tens of billions of dollars annually, and are used mostly to encourage certain types of behavior or provide financial assistance to taxpayers. This report provides information on newly enacted TEPs and reviews selected existing TEPs as to their effectiveness and efficiency. One of these is the mortgage interest deduction, valued at about $5 billion yearly. This program is found to be an inefficient means of promoting home ownership, and options are offered for improving it, including capping the deduction amount or replacing it with a targeted tax credit.