Gov. Jerry Brown’s plan to close a $16 billion budget gap is just a ploy to raise taxes, California Republican leaders said Tuesday.
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“The Governor’s revised budget unfortunately sets the stage for the passage of another phony majority vote budget that kicks the can down the road so Democrats can avoid making tough budget choices, Assembly Republican Leader Connie Conway of Tulare and Assembly Budget Committee Vice Chair Jim Nielsen of Gerber said in a joint statement.
Far from cutting services, the two said, the Governor’s plan will actually increase spending by $4.6 billion. And tax revenues, they said, are up over previous years, even if they didn’t rise as much as expected.
“We believe this updated proposal is part of the Governor’s strategy to try and fool Californians into accepting a costly tax increase as a necessary step,” the Republicans said. “His plan is more about politics than it is about presenting an honest and realistic budget plan for the tough times we are facing.”
The Republicans were reacting to Brown’s announcement on Monday that the state needed to trim $8.3 billion from state spending next year in order to close a projected budget gap of $16 billion.
Brown said Monday that if voters don’t approve a package of tax increases that included up to 3% more in income tax for the state’s highest earners and a quarter-percent increase in sales tax, the budget would have to be trimmed even more.
“There has to be a balance and a day of reckoning,” the governor said.