California could see higher taxes

March 27, 2008 6:58:41 PM PDT
A new poll indicates many of the state's residents are ready to start paying more taxes. We may have to anyway, since the state is grappling with a $14 billion dollar budget deficit.

With California schools facing $4 billion in cuts, more Californians think it's time for the T-word.

A new poll by the Public Policy Institute of California shows that among Californians surveyed, 42 percent now want to see a mixture of spending cuts and tax hikes to help balance the state budget. That's up from 36 percent in December.

Interestingly of Republicans who are usually anti-tax, only 25 percent now see a cuts-only plan as the solution, down from 35 percent in December.

"What concerns them the most would be to have cuts in public school spending right now," said PPIC Pollster Mark Baldassare.

We've seen Democrats push for upping the sales tax and adding an extra tax om oil companies for drilling in California.

Even Governor Schwarzenegger has softened his anti-tax stance to float the ideas of taxing services like dry cleaning, oil changes and haircuts.

Given the new poll, Democrats are working on a list of tax proposals.

"Voters are coming to their own conclusions, and they are realizing the type of California they want to live in is the California that's proud of its educational system," said Assembly Speaker Fabian Nunez (D) Los Angeles.

But all tax proposals need a two-thirds majority to pass, that will take some Republican support. And no poll will change their anti-tax stance.

"In the last four years, our income in the state has gone up $25 billion with no new taxes. There's plenty of revenue coming in here. People are going to start to look and say 'Where is this money being spent?" said State Senator Dick Ackerman, (R) Minority Leader.

Once California file their state taxes b the April 15th deadline, politicians will know exactly how much money we have, and that will determine how many cuts and or taxes we will need.


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