A recent article in the New York Times about election results in California included the following sentence (underline added by me): “A measure that would have raised taxes on commercial landlords to raise billions for a state that sorely needs revenue also seemed on track for defeat.” The reporters did not provide support for their assertion — which they expressed as a fact — that California “sorely needs revenue.” They should do so. Meanwhile, here are six relevant facts (sources in parentheses):

But school pension spending grew even faster (FUSD and SCUSDInterim Reports):

60 percent of revenues from the proposed tax increase would go to local governments like San Francisco, which increased cash spending on pensions and other post-employment benefits (OPEB) 146 percent from 2010 to 2019 (LAO analysis of Proposition 15SFERS Annual Reports; SF CAFRs):

San Francisco’s unfunded liabilities grew even more (243 percent), portending even greater retirement spending down the road (SFERSAnnual Reports; SF CAFRs):

Absent reform, growth in school and local government pension and OPEB spending will continue to exceed growth in tax revenue, just as it has at the state government:

What California sorely needs is pension and OPEB reform.