A rumor is floating in Sacramento about a budget solution re-doing part of the “triple flip” budget compromise of a few years ago. That compromise increased state sales tax, decreased local sales tax by an equal amount and backfilled the local sales tax loss by directing more property tax to the locals/schools.

This resulted in higher general fund money going to schools. The plan suggests the property tax would be taken back and funneled to the schools through the state meaning a smaller state obligation to the schools and therefore more money stays in the state general fund. At the same time, the local sales tax reduction would be eliminated essentially raising sales tax on the local level. This would be accomplished with a majority vote of the legislature.

While local general fund money at the local level can be raised by a majority vote of the people, a two-thirds vote is required to raise state taxes. Does the legislature get around this requirement by raising taxes on the local level?

Complicating the plan is a constitutional amendment which prevents reducing property taxes to local government below a certain amount. The proposal may bring this amendment into play.