CalChamber-backed study says service tax would disadvantage California businesses

Judy Lin
CALmatters reporter

Aiming to short-circuit an idea that has long captured the imagination, if not yet the votes, of legislators, a study backed by California Chamber of Commerce has found that adopting a business service tax—i.e., a tax on lawyers, accountants and consultants—would hurt the economy and put the state at a competitive disadvantage. The 56-page report […]

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5 Takeaways from Newsom’s Revised Budget Plan

Judy Lin
CALmatters reporter

Buoyed by California’s strong economy, Gov. Gavin Newsom sent state lawmakers a revised budget on Thursday that boosts his already-hefty January proposal to $213.6 billion. Ka-ching! Public schools will reap most of the gains if the Democratic-controlled Legislature rolls with him. Newsom also upped his ante on the housing crisis with a proposed $1 billion […]

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When the next recession hits, will California be able to count on Washington?

Judy Lin
CALmatters reporter

They don’t call it the Golden State for nothing, at least not lately. California’s fiscal health is in extraordinary shape. Income tax receipts surpassed expectations for the pivotal month of April. Projections of a $21 billion-plus surplus are not out of the question. Nearly 3 million jobs have been added since the depths of the Great Recession, yielding record […]

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California has a giant surplus—of ideas for new taxes. What’s up with that?

Judy Lin
CALmatters reporter

California is enjoying a projected $21.4 billion surplus. Three-quarters of the state believes any new revenue increase should be for voters to decide. By population and percentage of personal income, this state already has the nation’s 10th highest tax burden. And the leader of the California Senate, Pro Tem Toni Atkins, has pointedly cautioned against any more levies that take cash […]

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Everyone is saying they just won a big court case on pensions. What does that mean for you?

Judy Lin
CALmatters reporter

If all sides are declaring victory in the California Supreme Court’s pension ruling on Monday, it’s because the decision had a little something for all the combatants in the state’s pension wars. In a much-anticipated decision, the high court upheld a major rollback initiated during Gov. Jerry Brown’s administration—a reform that rescinded a long tradition that had […]

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The Big Problem This Bankruptcy Won’t Solve for PG&E

Judy Lin
CALmatters reporter

As a publicly traded corporation, Pacific Gas & Electric reported $17.1 billion a year in revenues from its electric and gas operations. After operating costs, expenses and taxes, it still made out with a profit of $1.7 billion last year. So why has California’s largest utility filed for bankruptcy?

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GOP alliances rip over gas tax repeal: Anti-taxers vs. business establishment

Judy Lin
CALmatters reporter

Business groups are threatening to wage a pricey campaign to stop California’s Republican officials from trying to repeal a new state gas tax—warning them not to “create new political adversaries.” But the politicians aren’t flinching. Eleven GOP members of the state’s congressional delegation, including House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy, responded that they aren’t as worried […]

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The cost of California’s public pensions is breaking the bank. Here’s one reason this problem is so hard to fix

Judy Lin
CALmatters reporter

More than 20 times in the last 15 years, political leaders looking to control California’s fast-growing public pension costs have tried to put reform initiatives before the voters. None of the proposals has made it onto the ballot. Often, advocates could not raise enough money for signature gathering, advertising and other costs of an initiative […]

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On Schools, Villaraigosa Parts With Gov

Judy Lin
CALmatters reporter

As he eyes a run for governor, former Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa is spotlighting the lagging academic performance of Latino and African-American students and saying the state should do more to hold schools accountable. The 63-year-old Democrat says parents have a right to know how their schools are doing and he doesn’t see a […]

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The Price of Education

Judy Lin
CALmatters reporter

Vallejo High School teacher Lewis Brown starts his morning government class with a question of the day that takes advantage of newly assigned iPads. “Today is the one year anniversary of the French magazine terrorist assassination,” Brown says. “What was the name of the magazine?” The seniors type on their tablets. In seconds, 17-year-old SioFilisi […]

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