The California Revenue & Budget Problem

At CCRC, we believe we are all in this together. We have all been affected by California’s budget crisis whether by our children’s elementary school which can no longer take field trips or libraries closing down or huge potholes endangering the roads or public offices limiting their hours.

California has had a revenue and budget problem for years. But this year, the deficit is almost at 16 billion dollars!

The safety net is feeling less and less safe and yet there are still those who claim we need to make more cuts. This cutting and cutting is what took California from being the Golden State to state of crisis it’s in now. And now is the moment to address the root causes of the revenue and budget crisis so that we can again offer a public education that is amongst the best in the nation and set trends for innovation and progress.

Root Causes of California budget crisis

California used to be the only state in the United States that had two super-majority rules. We required a 2/3 vote in the legislature to pass a budget and a 2/3 vote to raise revenues both at the state and local level. These two rules together wreaked havoc in California for too long. Fortunately, in 2010, Californians passed Proposition 25, which relieved the legislature a bit by making it possible to pass a budget with a majority of our elected leaders.

This 2/3 rule to raise revenue was written into Proposition 13, passed in 1978, which also created vast property tax loopholes for California’s largest corporate property owners. This dramatically reduced California’s revenue. Corporations who have not sold or built up their property since 1978 are essentially paying taxes on their property as if we are still in the year 1975. This HUGE tax loophole is costing the state billions of dollars a year.

CCRC Endorsements

Click to download a PDF of our California 2012 ballot measure recommendations, which were decided upon by the CCRC Steering Committee. Not all member organizations of CCRC endorse each of the positions. Please register to vote by October 22.

Proposition 30 – Governor Brown’s Initiative to Fund Schools & Essential Services
Raises income taxes on top 2% of Californians to fund schools and essential services such as healthcare and public safety.Also, includes quarter cent (1/4 cent) sales tax. More info: www.yesonprop30.com

Proposition 31 California Forward/Think Long Initiative
Misguided “reforms” that adds layer upon layer of restrictions and poorly defined requirements, leaving key decisions up to unelected bureaucrats. Implements a spending cap which would make it difficult to restore funding to programs decimated by previous budget cuts. More info: prop31facts.com

Proposition 32 Special Exemptions
Would increase corporate power and essentially eliminate the voices of working people in California politics. This initiative poses as ‘campaign finance reform’ but has been referred to more accurately as Citizens United on steroids. stopspecialexemptions.org

Proposition 33 Auto Insurance
Though some argue this initiative is ultimately good for consumers, there is concern that not all consumers would be protected and some would be left paying more than others because of access to coverage.
More info: stopthesurcharge.consumerwatchdogcampaign.org

Proposition 34 Replace the Death Penalty with LWOP
Will replace California’s broken death penalty with justice that works for everyone. Proposition 34 replaces the death penalty with life in prison with absolutely no chance of parole. It will guarantee we will never execute an innocent person, requires convicted killers to work and pay restitution to the victim’s compensation fund. Will save $1 billion in five years and directs $100 million to law enforcement to solve more rapes and murders. More info:  www.safecalifornia.org

Proposition 35 Human Trafficking
Increases penalties for human trafficking, sex offenses and imposes new restrictions on registered sex offenders. Some components of this initiative will likely be found unconstitutional. Also, it increased penalties within the troubled criminal justice system, which incarcerates people of color and the poor at a disproportionately high rate. More info: https://www.aclunc.org/legislation/ca_propositions/index.shtml

Proposition 36 Three Strikes Reform
Revises the three strikes law to impose life sentence only when the new felony conviction is “serious or violent.” Authorizes re-sentencing for offenders currently serving life sentences. Saves $100 million a year. More info: www.yeson36.org

Proposition 37 Genetically Engineered Foods Labeling
“Right-to-know’ initiative would require clear labels informing consumers if foods are genetically modified. Would become the first law of its kind in the nation though 40 countries globally already require labeling. More info: www.carighttoknow.org

Proposition 38 Tax for Education and Early Childhood Programs
Prop 38 raises ten billion dollars annually to restore funding to Pre-K through high school by raising rates on income, using a sliding scale based on the ability to pay, with the wealthiest Californians paying the most. More info: http://www.prop38forlocalschools.org/

Proposition 39 Close Corporate Tax Loophole
Closes a corporate tax loophole and raises $1 billion per year. Dedicates $550 million annually for five years to fund projects that “create energy efficiency and clean energy jobs” in California. More info: www.cleanenergyjobsact.com

Proposition 40 Redistricting
A “yes” vote will approve the new State Senate districts drawn by the California Citizens Redistricting Commission (created by 2008’s Prop 11). A “no” vote will require the districts to be drawn again. More info: holdpoliticiansaccountable.org