When teachers argue that school funding should not be cut, we are told by the Republicans in the legislature that there is not choice, there just is no money.
Well, that is not really true. Here is where reasonable people would get the revenue.
1. Repeal the September 2008 and February 2009 tax cuts. As a part of the Sept. 2008 and Feb. 2009 budget deals, the legislature created huge new corporate tax breaks. That right. To respond to a budget crisis, they gave new tax reductions to corporations. These take effect in 2011 and will make the budget crisis worse. What is to be done ? Repeal of tax credit sharing to raise 2009-10 revenues by $80 million, over time, the permanent tax cuts will cost the state $2.0 billion to $2.5 billion.
2. Reinstate 10 percent and 11 percent tax rates to 1991 levels, adjusted for inflation. The February tax increases disproportionately affect low- and middle-income taxpayers. Reinstatement of the top brackets would restore balance to the state’s tax system and raise $4 billion to $6 billion in additional revenues.
3. Impose on oil severance tax. California is the only oil producing jurisdiction in the world without a severance tax. A tax of 9.9 percent, such as that proposed by the Governor, would raise upwards of $1 billion dollars.
We, the people, own this oil. It is under California soil. Oil companies only take it out. They should pay to take our oil out of the ground and to sell it to us. Even arch conservative Texas, Louisiana, and Alaska have oil severance taxes.
To achieve these goals, we need to repeal the 2/3 vote rule and allow the majority to rule.