Assemblyman Guy Houston of San Ramon, the only Bay Area Republican in the state Legislature, issued a statement late last night outlining his opposition to the Democratic leadership’s proposal to boost taxes to help solve the state’s yawning budget deficit.
“California already has one of the highest tax rates in the nation and now the Democrats want to make them even higher,” Houston said in his release. “We must leave within our means. A budget deficit that is the result of the irresponsible pace of our government’s growth should not be balanced on the backs of the hardworking Californians.”
Houston’s position is consistent with his Republican colleagues who view the proposed $9.7 billion in tax hikes on the state’s most wealthy residents as untenable and unlikely to materialize in the current weakened economy. (Of course, Republicans oppose tax hikes in a strong economy, too.)
Click here to read the Democrat’s budget proposal on Senate President Pro Tem Don Perata’s web site.
California is one of a handful of states that require a two-thirds vote to approve a budget and raise taxes, which gives Republicans considerable veto power despite their minority status in Sacramento.
That means the stalemate could drag out for weeks or months as legislators haggle over how to solve the state’s $15.7 billion budget deficit. Both sides are firmly dug into their positions but that could change in September when the state runs out of money to pay its bills and starts issuing IOUs. Yeah, the grocery stores love those state IOUs.
Read more for Houston’s full press release.
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE Contact: Keith Ochwat
Wednesday, July 9, 2008 (916) 319-2015
ASSEMBLYMAN GUY HOUSTON REACTS TO DEMOCRAT PLAN TO RAISE TAXES $9.7 BILLION
Proposal creates new income tax brackets for families and increases taxes on businesses
(Sacramento) – Yesterday, the California State Senate revised the 2008-09 State Budget to include $9.7 Billion in higher taxes. Assemblyman Guy Houston (R-San Ramon) issued the following statement in reaction:
The proposal includes $5.6 Billion in new income tax revenue, $1.1 Billion will come from eliminating deductions for research conducted by businesses, $215 Million by reducing the dependent-care credit for families with income of $150,000 or more, and $815 Million from not adjusting current tax brackets for inflation-potentially hitting hardest taxpayers with joint incomes of $97,000 or more.
“Raising taxes is going hurt the economy, and the citizens of this state,” said Houston. “We need to make difficult decisions this year, not harm Californians by squeezing another $10 billion out of them.”