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    Submit your letter to the editor via this form. Read more Letters to the Editor. Politicians performed as expected in Glasgow Re. “Experts wanted more from nations’ agreement,” Page A4, Nov. 15: There is no magic bullet that will cure global warming. The answer involves a basket of solutions I’m sure weren’t discussed sufficiently at the recent world meeting. With billions of cars on the road, one commitment to greater efficiency would pay rich dividends. Instead, we manufacture and sell SUVs, an inefficient vehicle that few should drive. The author was right of course, but these meetings are not about solutions. They are about talking about solutions. After all, these people are politicians. It’s naïve to think otherwise. Robert Sinuhe Oakland In Sacramento, budget surplus in wrong hands I’m so glad I live in a state that taxes me into oblivion only to have so much tax revenue they don’t know what to do with it. I’m sure my money is in good hands, though, with the people building a train to nowhere or paying for needles for IV drug users....
    California’s broader economy is a bit sluggish, but certain sectors have been booming, thanks to record low interest rates and many billions of stimulus dollars from Uncle Sam. Retail sales, housing and the stock market, three sectors that are very sensitive to federal fiscal and monetary policies, are soaring, even as the state grapples with the nation’s highest unemployment and poverty rates. The state treasury has seen a bumper crop of tax revenues from the high-flying sectors, giving Gov. Gavin Newsom and state legislators tens of billions of extra dollars to spend. The state budget enacted in June spent the bounty on a wide variety of new and expanded programs, including cash payments to low-income Californians, but revenues are continuing to outpace the budget’s estimates by billions of dollars. It means, the Legislature’s budget analyst, Gabe Petek, said last week, that the 2022-23 budget could have a $31 billion surplus — so much that it will collide with the state’s rarely invoked Gann spending limit. Newsom also says the state will have an “historic budget surplus,” although he won’t put his number on...
    SACRAMENTO —  Gov. Gavin Newsom has billions to be grateful for this Thanksgiving — an unexpected $31 billion to buy gifts for voters. Independent Legislative Analyst Gabriel Petek calculated that figure last week but cautioned he could be way off. The actual state budget surplus could range from $60 billion down to $10 billion, he reported. The $31-billion projection, however, “is more than reasonable,” says state finance department spokesman H.D. Palmer. Whatever the size, it’s a bundle the governor and Legislature hadn’t anticipated when they crafted the current $263-billion budget in June. The spare money is on top of the $76-billion windfall they had then. And Newsom enjoyed a $22-billion surplus his first year as governor in 2019. Tax “revenues are growing at historic rates,” Petek wrote. All kinds of revenues — income, corporate, sales. “Underlying this growth is a meteoric rise in several measures of economic activity,” Petek reported. “Retail sales have posted double-digit growth during 2021. Stock prices have doubled from the pandemic low last spring. Several major firms have posted historically high earnings…. “Tax revenues … are higher...
    SACRAMENTO —  California lawmakers should take early action next year on how to implement the state’s constitutional spending limit, an analysts’ report recommended Wednesday, pointing out that the longstanding law will dictate how to divvy up almost all of a towering $31-billion tax surplus. The spending limit, approved by voters in 1979, was a key consideration during state budget negotiations last spring after largely lying dormant for the past four decades. Successive years of higher-than-expected tax revenues, even during the economic disruption of the COVID-19 pandemic, have allowed Gov. Gavin Newsom and Democratic legislative leaders to expand government services while also paying down long-term debts and boosting the state’s cash reserves. When state officials craft a new budget next spring, the independent Legislative Analyst’s Office projects, they could find that the spending limit controls the use of all but a few billion dollars of the surplus in a period spanning between now and the early summer of 2023. “We think it will turn out to be a pretty significant issue for the Legislature to consider in this coming budget process,” said...
    SACRAMENTO (CBS SF/AP) — A new report from California’s independent Legislative Analyst’s Office notes that the state could have so much money next year that it might have to refund some of it to residents to meet the state’s constitutional limits on spending. The state’s annual “Fiscal Outlook,” released Wednesday, predicts a $31 billion surplus for the 2022 budget year that begins July 1. The analyst’s office says that will exceed a constitutional limit on state spending by more than $14 billion. That could require Gov. Gavin Newsom and state lawmakers to either cut taxes, spend more money on schools and infrastructure or — perhaps the most popular choice in an election year — give rebates to taxpayers. READ MORE: Hayward City Council Approves Resolution Apologizing For Institutionalized Racism Against BIPOCNewsom won’t reveal his budget proposal until January. But on Wednesday, the governor indicated his preferred choice is to give the money back to taxpayers. That’s what he and the state Legislature did earlier this year, approving rebates totaling $12 billion for some taxpayers in a state budget that was...
    By Adam Beam | Associated Press SACRAMENTO — California will have a $31 billion budget surplus next year as revenues continue to climb despite the pandemic, according to a new forecast from the state’s independent Legislative Analyst’s Office. The predicted surplus is so large the office estimates California will surge past a constitutional limit on state spending by more than $14 billion. That could require Gov. Gavin Newsom and state lawmakers to either cut taxes, spend more money on schools and infrastructure or — perhaps the more popular choice in an election year — give rebates to taxpayers. California’s tax collections have continued to soar despite the pandemic. From April to June of this year, California businesses reported a record high $216.8 billion in taxable sales — a 38.8% increase over 2020 and a 17.4% increase over pre-pandemic 2019. This comes as some economists worry about rising prices because of inflation. This would be the fourth year in a row of increasing revenue. But the LAO said it’s “impossible” to know whether California’s revenue gains are sustainable. “Recognizing this,...
    SACRAMENTO (AP/CBS13) — California will have a $31 billion budget surplus next year as revenues continue to climb despite the pandemic, according to a new forecast from the state’s independent Legislative Analyst’s Office. The predicted surplus is so large the office estimates California will surge past a constitutional limit on state spending by more than $14 billion. That could require Gov. Gavin Newsom and state lawmakers to either cut taxes, spend more money on schools and infrastructure or – perhaps the more popular choice in an election year – give rebates to taxpayers. READ MORE: Man Shot, Robbed While Waiting In Car Outside Stockton BusinessCalifornia’s tax collections have continued to soar despite the pandemic. From April to June of this year, California businesses reported a record high $216.8 billion in taxable sales – a 38.8% increase over 2020 and a 17.4% increase over pre-pandemic 2019. This comes as some economists worry about rising prices because of inflation. READ MORE: Sac City Unified COVID Vaccine Deadline Looms With Just 8% Of Students Reporting Their StatusThis would be the fourth year in...
              more   The state’s revenues for October of $1.4 billion exceeded budgeted estimates for the month by $256.2 million, Tennessee Department of Finance and Administration Commissioner Butch Eley announced Friday. This October’s revenues exceeded last October’s by $238.9 million, representing a 20.52 percent growth rate year-over-year. “October’s revenue growth is due primarily to increased sales tax collections, corporate tax receipts, and growth in realty recordation taxes that are reported under privilege taxes,” said Eley regarding the month’s tax collections. The actual revenues of $1.023 billion were nearly 21 percent above the estimate and $170 million or nearly 20 percent ahead of the previous October. The sales and use tax, with a budgeted estimate of $846 million, accounted for 74 percent of October’s budget. “Sales and use taxes, reflecting September taxable sales activity, continue to indicate growth across all industries with internet sales contributing nearly a third of the month’s sales tax growth,” Eley indicated. While the current fiscal year has started off strong, Eley anticipates that comparative revenue growth will be lower because October marks the one-year anniversary of the...
    BEL AIR, Md. (WJZ) — Harford County ended the 2021 fiscal year with a budget surplus of $58 million, County Executive Barry Glassman said Friday. Revenue increased by 9.6% from the previous fiscal year and the county government’s expenses came in $25.5 million under budget, the county executive said. READ MORE: Vaccines Are Helping The Economy Return To Normal. Supply Chain Problems Are Holding It Back“I am proud that Harford County government stayed open every day to serve our citizens through the pandemic, while managing our money wisely and supporting the small businesses that drive our economy,” Glassman said. “I would like to thank our county employees for their dedication and all Harford County residents and businesses for continuing our move forward in challenging times.” Harford County’s revenue’s increased by $54.2 million, thanks to an additional $57.5 million in tax revenue from the active real estate market, according to an audit prepared by CliftonLarsonAllen LLP. READ MORE: Baltimore County Will Only Pick Up Paper Bags For Yard Waste Next YearThe county also received $31.4 million in federal grants and relief...
    By Sophia Bollag | Sacramento Bee California will have another “historic budget surplus” next year, Gov. Gavin Newsom said Wednesday. The Democratic governor made the announcement during an interview with NBC’s Chuck Todd at the Milken Institute’s 24th Global Conference. Newsom in July signed a $262 billion budget that relied on a projected $75 billion surplus, based on estimates from January. On top of its record-breaking surplus, California also received $27 billion in COVID-19 relief funds from the federal government. Newsom and lawmakers used the surplus to send $600 checks to Californians making less than $75,000 a year, expand grants for small businesses and bolster other programs to help the Golden State emerge from the pandemic recession. His announcement Wednesday means his administration anticipates another windfall as it begins writing the 2022-23 budget proposal he’s expected to announce in January. Newsom said he’ll propose using next year’s surplus to pay down $11.3 billion in pension obligations, but didn’t give further details. In addition to a surplus for next year’s budget, Newsom said California has already collected $14 billion more in...
    Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan said the state will be ready to administer more booster shots and vaccinate children between the ages of 5 and 11 once the federal government gives the go-ahead. Federal approval for the boosters and vaccines for younger children is expected to arrive in the next few weeks, and Hogan said he is hoping to see it before Halloween. At a Thursday news conference, Hogan said 140,000 booster shots have been administered in the state already, and 80,000 residents have appointments to receive a booster of the Pfizer vaccine. Hogan said he expects those numbers to rise dramatically once booster shots for the Moderna and Johnson & Johnson vaccines are approved. He also said the state has been preparing to ramp up a vaccination campaign for children between 5 and 11 once the federal government authorizes it. “The state health department is working with our local school systems and our county health departments to try to make sure that everybody is ready to immediately begin those vaccinations the moment that we’re given the authorization to do so,”...
    ANNAPOLIS, Md. (WJZ) — Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan on Thursday announced a five-point framework to spend the state’s $2.5 billion budget surplus. Maryland comptroller Peter Franchot announced the surplus last week. The surplus, 25 times the amount the state usually has leftover, was attributed to stimulus funding and higher-than-expected tax collections. READ MORE: Anne Arundel County Superintendent Proposes $7.4M Plan To Raise School Bus Drivers' PayDemocrats on Wednesday called for the money to be spent on those most in need — families struggling to make ends meet and facing eviction. “Already some politicians see this (surplus) as a chance to go on a big spending spree with pet projects, big payouts to special interests, and new mandated increases in spending,” Hogan said Thursday. “That is not going to happen on my watch.” Hogan’s framework includes: Increase the Rainy Day Fund Major tax relief for retirees: Direct tax relief for Marylanders More relief for underserved Marylanders Enhancements for state employees The state aims to bolster the Rainy Day Fund by at least 7.5% to $1.67 billion. Hogan said tax relief for...
    ANNAPOLIS, Md. (WJZ) — Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan has called a news conference Thursday afternoon to issue an update on the state’s budget. The budget update is scheduled for 2 p.m. from the governor’s reception room, according to a news release from the governor’s office. READ MORE: After 3-1 Start, Ravens Won’t Be On The Road For A While[Watch the governor’s update by clicking on the CBSN video player above] READ MORE: Franchot Reinstates Mask Requirement For Maryland Comptroller's Office FacilitiesLast week, Maryland Comptroller Peter Franchot announced the state wrapped up the 2021 fiscal year with a $2.5 billion budget surplus. The surplus, 25 times the amount the state usually has left over, was attributed to stimulus funding and higher-than-expected tax collections. MORE NEWS: Former Baltimore County Executive Ted Venetoulis Dies At 87Democrats are calling for the money to be spent on those most in need — families struggling to make ends meet and facing eviction.
    California gets a big, fat “F.” Louisiana is fiscally fitter. So are Mississippi, Alabama, West Virginia and South Carolina — the poorest states in the nation, according to the latest “State of the States” analysis by the nonprofit Truth In Accounting. California tanked, ranking 42nd of the 50 states on the weight of its long-term taxpayer burdens. That makes it a “Sinkhole State,” meaning it owes billions more than what it has, thanks primarily to generous pension obligations and health care promises made to retirees. And, to add injury to insult, the Golden State is extremely late in releasing its audited financial statements, a particular problem for transparency and accountability, according to TIA. “How is the governor of California getting away with saying he has a surplus?” asked Sheila Weinberg, founder and CEO of Truth in Accounting. “You guys are making tax and policy decisions based upon that ‘surplus.’ But you’re not working with the right numbers. The Securities and Exchange Commission has anti-fraud provisions — the SEC needs to step in here. It’s so outrageous.” According to TIA’s analysis,...
    BALTIMORE (WJZ) — The State of Maryland has officially closed the book on the last fiscal year with a multi-billion dollar balance. The comptroller said the federal stimulus is behind the $2.5 billion balance. He wants most of that to go into the stateâs rainy day fund. READ MORE: Baltimore Man Pleads Guilty To Murdering Andre Giles Following Dispute On The BlockâThat money should go to people that need it the most,” said Chrissy Holt, Our Revolution MD. Chrissy Holt of Our Revolution Maryland has been pushing for eviction relief and other protections for the vulnerable throughout the pandemic. âIf you have excess, surplus money, why donât you fully fund the government agencies that are specifically designed to help people?â said Holt. The state comptroller announced Wednesday that Maryland has $2.5 billion on the books to close out the fiscal year 2020-2021. This is one-time only money. We should not just spend it,” said Peter Franchot, D-Maryland Comptroller. READ MORE: Feds Award $18.2 Million To Five Local Organizations Offering Mental Health Services, Substance Use TreatmentThe balance is 25 times more...
    Iowa ended fiscal year 2021 with a budget surplus of $1.24 billion in its general fund, four times the budget surplus from fiscal year 2020, which was $305 million. "Iowa is in a very strong financial position due to our fiscal responsibility,” Gov. Kim Reynolds said in the announcement Monday . “This surplus proves we accomplished exactly what we set out to do – overcome the financial challenges caused by the global pandemic and invest in education, workforce, healthcare, agriculture and technology.” Iowa’s fiscal year ends June 30. Its accrual period, when it pays and receives outstanding obligations, ends Sept. 30. “The growth of the Iowa surplus is a direct result of pro-growth policies and fiscal restraint,” Americans for Prosperity – Iowa State Director Drew Klein told The Center Square in an emailed statement. “This number should only continue to highlight the need to reduce Iowa taxes and return those dollars to Iowa taxpayers.” The state spent $21.09 billion through 1.68 million total transactions, according to the state of Iowa’s Checkbook ledger website . It spent more per month than...
                        Buckhead residents want to formally secede from crime-plagued Atlanta, and if those same frustrated residents were to leave then their new city would run a budget surplus, according to a study from Valdosta State University. Officials with Valdosta State University’s Center for South Georgia Regional Impact published the study this week. Buckhead City Committee spokesman Paul Dusseault told The Georgia Star News on Tuesday that the people who conducted and wrote the study did so objectively. “The university is a respected school and has experience in economic development. They have a whole unit. A special school for this stuff. They are on the Georgia General Assembly’s approved list of universities sanctioned to do this work. The writers say in the executive summary that they are not endorsing the idea of Buckhead City,” Dusseault said. “We were only asked the mathematical question. If these taxes were diverted from Atlanta, would Buckhead City have enough to operate itself? That is the feasibility part of a feasibility study. They say the...
                        The State of Tennessee finished the 2020-2021 fiscal year with a $3.1 billion surplus in revenues, as compared to the original budgeted estimates, Tennessee Department of Finance and Administration Commissioner Butch Eley reported Friday. After adjusting for the increased revenue estimate of $1 billion recommended by the Funding Board in November 2020 that was passed by the General Assembly on April 29, Eley announced total tax receipts for fiscal year 2020-2021 are $2.1 billion more than the budgeted estimates. July revenues were $1.5 billion against a budgeted $1.2 billion, resulting in a surplus of $287 million or 24 percent higher than the budgeted estimate for the month. Despite the positive report, Eley noted that the growth rate compared to July 2020 was negative 21 percent. Eley explained that the decline was largely due to last year’s shifts in tax filing deadlines from April to July in consideration of business impact during the first few months of the pandemic. A comparison of the tax growth of July 2021 to...
    Wisconsin is on track to end the next two years with an extra $1.7 billion in the bank. The Legislative Fiscal Bureau on Monday said the current state budget, written by Republicans and signed by Gov. Tony Evers, will wrap-up with the state’s largest surplus ever. CJ Szafir, president of The Institute for Reforming Government, said taxpayers need to appreciate just how much money Republicans have saved them over the past decade. “Surpluses generally are rare. And surpluses of this size are a generational game changer,” Szafir told The Center Square. “At this rate, the next budget, crafted by either Gov. Evers or a Republican successor, will have a nice fiscal cushion for massive reforms.” The news about the surplus is just the latest good economic news for the state. Back in June LFB reported that Wisconsin will see $4.4 billion in extra revenue during the new two-year state budget. Much of that money was dedicated to tax cuts. Szafir said the $1.7 billion in surplus could be spent the same way, or for other...
                        Tennessee’s revenues for the month of June exceeded the budget by $372.3 million, putting the year-to-date surplus at $2.8 billion, Commissioner of the Tennessee Department of Finance and Administration Butch Eley announced Thursday. State taxes for June 2021, which is the eleventh month of the current fiscal year, were $321.1 million more than June 2020. All eleven months of the 2020-2021 fiscal year saw tax collections that exceeded the budget, with June marking the fourth highest budget surplus. Consistent monthly revenues exceeding the budgeted estimates puts the state on track for a $3 billion surplus at the end of the fiscal year. The state’s sales tax and corporate tax collections have continued to exceed expectations and accounted for more than 98 percent of the June surplus. “June collections in the sales tax and corporate taxes, which are the franchise and excise taxes, continue to reflect extraordinary increases compared to this time last year when economic activity was weakened because of the pandemic,” Eley said. Contributing to the growth...
    Submit your letter to the editor via this form. Read more Letters to the Editor. Find better solutions than Union City road Union City’s Quarry Lakes Project is another case of so little for so much (“Connector road project receives state boost,” Page B1, July 6). The project takes beautiful open space, green and full of life, and paves it over, for only $288 million. This provides a road that would eventually allow you to be stuck in traffic parallel to Decoto. This is a brute force approach to providing transportation solutions, and not the only way, but probably the most expensive way, to figure out how to get around. For a small fraction of $288 million, more efficient shuttle services could be developed, free bicycles for public use could be provided, and new, innovative transportation solutions could be funded. Also, the city could simply save the money for a relatively rainy day, and help protect essential services from budget cuts in the future. Hugh Rex Fremont More than ready for state fireworks ban Thank you for your editorial...
    California, where the cost of a gallon of gasoline is more than $1 above the national average, increased its gas tax on Thursday.  The increase is small - six-tenths of a cent - but brings the already highest-in-the-nation gas tax to 51.1 cents.  The average cost of a gallon of gas is $4.28, compared to $3.10 across the U.S., according to AAA.  The hike is part of a road repair bill the California legislature passed in 2017 that increases gas taxes and vehicle registration fees to pay for bridge and road repairs. The tax is increased based on the California Consumer Price Index.  ELON MUSK TO SELL LAST REMAINING CALIFORNIA HOME  When the bill took effect in November 2017, it raised the state’s gas tax by 12 cents. Prices went up another 5.6 cents in 2019 and 3.2 cents in 2020. At the same time as the tax increase, California is facing a historic $75 million budget overflow, thanks to a booming Silicon Valley, a thriving stock market and high taxes on high earners. Meanwhile, California is due to receive...
    HARRISBURG, Pa. (CBS) — Philadelphia City Councilmember Helen Gym was arrested on Wednesday in Harrisburg. Gym shared video of her arrest at the state capitol on Twitter. Today I was arrested alongside faith leaders of @powerinterfaith as we knocked on the doors to the state senate chambers. The senate was in session, but they refused to hear our demand for them to spend the $10 billion budget surplus and fund our public schools. pic.twitter.com/3dNjkn9uov READ MORE: 17-Year-Old Raqib Robbins Fatally Shot In Head While Waiting For SEPTA Bus In West Philadelphia, Police Say — Helen Gym (@HelenGymAtLarge) June 23, 2021 READ MORE: Child Tax Credit: What Will The Revised Credit Mean For Families? Gym was in Harrisburg with faith leaders trying to convince state senators to spend $10 billion in a budget surplus on education funding. They were arrested when they refused to leave the capitol. MORE NEWS: Pennsylvania Coat Of Arms Painting Returns To Independence Hall Just In Time For Fourth Of July They were released several hours later.
    SACRAMENTO (CBS SF/AP) — As both summer and the scheduling of a recall election date loom, Gov. Gavin Newsom wants to make sure Californians know about the cash payments and prize money he is doling out in his first television recall campaign ad. Newsom will face a recall at the ballot box sometime this fall, but the date has yet to be set. READ MORE: Man Arrested After Allegedly Trying To Shoot Sonoma County Deputy, Park Ranger “Newsom is delivering money to your pocket,” a narrator says over a video of a smiling family gathered on a couch in a campaign ad Newsom released Thursday, his first of the recall. It references $1,100 in one-time cash payments he proposed in his state budget. The spot is one of three now airing statewide on television, though the other two are negative, painting a dark picture of Republicans behind the effort. Their release follows two weeks of Newsom traveling the state as game show host, appearing at theme parks to award millions of dollars in prize money for vaccinations and to celebrate...
    With a $5 million surplus, San Rafael is coming out of the COVID-19 pandemic saying goodbye to staff furloughs and a hiring freeze. The City Council voted unanimously on June 7 to endorse a $127.8 million budget, which includes an $89.6 million operating budget and a $22 million capital improvement program. The budget adoption is scheduled for June 21. “We all pulled together and handled everything and anything that has been thrown at us due to the pandemic,” Nadine Hade, the city finance director, said during the preliminary budget hearing. “And we’ve done it with less people due to frozen positions, less working days due to furloughs, and while we came up with new ways to provide remote services.” Hade said the city is forecasting sales tax revenues to be about $2.5 million, or 3% above last year’s forecast. The city has been allocated $16 million in federal funds from the American Rescue Plan Act, the pandemic relief legislation. The city has received half already and expects the rest next year, Hade said. Of the $5 million surplus, approximately $500,000...
    With New Jersey looking to bring in higher-than-anticipated tax revenues, state Republicans want to return the money to the taxpayers. On Wednesday, treasury officials said New Jersey’s baseline state revenues for the 2021 fiscal year could be roughly $4.1 billion higher than anticipated. Coupled with other revenue increases, the state expects to end fiscal 2021 with a $10.1 billion surplus. “The surplus should be given back to taxpayers because it is theirs to keep, and the state is already flush with cash,” Assemblyman Hal Wirths, R-Sussex, the Republican budget officer, said in a news release. “… The surplus should be used to cut taxes, whether by increasing school aid, decreasing payroll taxes, increasing the earned income tax credit, cutting taxes for small businesses struggling to recover, or any other way that puts money in people’s pockets.” Meanwhile, a spokesperson for Gov. Phil Murphy, a Democrat, said he plans to work with lawmakers on how best to allocate the money. “Governor Murphy’s budget will make investments in New Jersey and New Jerseyans and – unlike the budgets...
                      by Scott McClallen  Michigan budget officials Friday reached a consensus on revised economic and revenue figures for fiscal years 2021, 2022 and 2023. The state general fund and school aid revenues will total $26.5 billion for the current budget year, exceeding January estimates by $2.2 billion. For the new budget cycle beginning Oct. 1, the agency projected revenues will total $26.6 billion, $1.3 billion more than January predictions. A majority of that unexpected cash is a byproduct of billions of spending via stimulus checks and boosted unemployment benefits, which led to a spike in personal spending and increased state tax revenues by billions more than previously forecast. “The federal stimulus programs have continued to benefit our economy, producing a tremendous boost to our state’s future economic outlook and revenue picture,” State Treasurer Rachael Eubanks said in a statement. “Public health and the economy go together – the better the health situation the better the economy. As our vaccination rate continues to rise and our cases continue to fall, we are moving closer to normalcy....
    A state office reviewed California Gov. Gavin Newsom’s proposed “May Revision” budget proposal and found there’s only half of the expected budget surplus Newsom's promoting. The California Legislative Analyst’s Office, a nonpartisan state department, released its impressions on Newsom’s budget this week. Most notably, the report said Newsom has overestimated the $76 billion in extra cash the state’s got to play with. The office said Newsom’s budget uses required spending as a part of the surplus, something that’s not usually counted as extra spending. “The Governor’s estimate includes constitutionally required spending on schools and community colleges, reserves, and debt payments,” said Gabriel Petek, a legislative analyst with LAO. “We do not consider these spending amounts part of the surplus because they must be allocated to specified purposes.” They believe the surplus is $38 billion. Despite the glut of revenue, the analysis said Newsom’s proposal relies on $12 billion from the state’s rainy day fund, something LAO discouraged. “The state will need these tools to respond to future challenges, when federal assistance might not be...
    Gavin Newsom loves superlatives, even when they are unwarranted, and a strong surge in state revenues gave him the opportunity last week to indulge his peculiarity. Repeatedly, the governor boasted about a $75 billion budget surplus that in combination with wad of federal pandemic aid would finance a “$100 billion California Comeback Plan” of new and expanded services, including cash payments to millions of families as part of a $267 billion budget. “This is a generational budget,” Newsom said. “This is an historic, transformational budget. This is not a budget that plays small ball. We’re not playing in the margins. We are not trying to fail more efficiently.” However, the Legislature’s budget analyst, Gabe Petek, has a sharply different take. He says the true surplus that can be spent or saved over two years is more like $38 billion — still a very substantial sum but lacking the political punch of the numbers Newsom threw out. Why the difference? It’s one of semantics. To arrive at his big number, Newsom counted money that is already committed by law to be spent...
    SACRAMENTO — California government operations would still rely on $12 billion drawn from cash reserves and borrowing under the budget proposed by Gov. Gavin Newsom, an independent analyst’s report said Monday, even as the state now expects to collect three times that amount from a windfall of tax revenues. Newsom’s decision to stick with the borrowing proposals is “shortsighted and inadvisable,” said a report from the Legislative Analyst’s Office. The new review of the spending plan the governor sent to the Legislature last week largely agrees with Newsom’s estimate of a massive tax windfall to be collected in the current fiscal year and the one that begins on July 1. The analysis suggests, however, that the governor’s proclamation of a $75.7-billion tax revenue “surplus” is misleading because it counts dollars that, by law, must be spent on public schools, used to pay off debt or placed in the state’s main reserve account. Once those obligations are subtracted, the report notes, the extra cash that lawmakers have discretion to use is $38 billion between now and the early summer of 2022....
    Gov. Gavin Newsom spent the past week promoting a long list of new spending proposals made possible by a record-smashing budget surplus — but the state’s embattled bullet train is missing out. While the May budget revision Newsom rolled out on Friday calls for giving the California High Speed Rail Authority $4.2 billion to build the first segment of its system in the Central Valley, that proposal does not represent new state funding for the project. Instead, the money would come out of the bond voters approved in 2008 to start the high-speed rail system that promised to eventually take riders from San Francisco to Los Angeles, tapping funds that were already raised to pay for the project. That differs from a proposal several leaders of the state Legislature have made to divert the bond money to other local public transit projects, which they argue would provide more immediate benefits. Still, even with a surplus of more than $100 billion to spread around the state, Newsom notably chose not make any new commitments to the high-speed rail project, which will...
                        Higher than expected revenues for the month of April resulted in the state’s budget surplus exceeding $2 billion with three months remaining in the 2020-2021 fiscal year. Commissioner of Tennessee’s Department of Finance and Administration Butch Eley made the announcement Friday that April revenues of $2.5 billion resulted in a $596.7 million surplus for the month of April 2021. That’s the highest surplus in revenues the state has collected in the past nine months, with April contributing almost 30 percent to the fiscal year-to-date surplus. The state has realized revenue surpluses in all of the previous nine months, after suffering three consecutive pandemic-related budget shortfalls in April, May and June of 2020. Eley, in his monthly announcement, said April 2021 revenues compared to the same time last year were $1.3 billion more than April 2020, reflecting a growth rate of nearly 91 percent. Adding context, though, Eley said, “It’s important to remember that March and April of 2020 were the only two months where the state experienced a...
    LOS ANGELES (CBSLA) — Trying to dig himself out of a recall rut, Gov. Gavin Newsom Friday said the state budget was in great shape — thanks to a surprise tax windfall from the state’s highest earners — and that most Californians will reap the benefits. “Families with dependents will receive an additional $500,” he said. “Just one time, not per child.” READ MORE: Manuel Benavente Gets 35 Years To Life For Assaulting Riverside Woman, Developmentally Disabled Daughter Newsom also reviewed plans he laid out earlier this week including direct payments of up to $1,100 to about 67% of all California residents, free pre-kindergarten for all 4-year-old children and $1.5 billion for small businesses hurt by the pandemic. He also reiterated his plans to spend billions to battle the state’s growing homelessness crisis. “Yes, we see what you see,” he said. “Those encampments growing all up and down the state of California, we have a direct encampment strategy: $193 million dollars to create supports, create opportunities, to build partnerships, capacity with local government to address the unique and challenging, often...
    SACRAMENTO (AP/CBS13) – California Gov. Gavin Newsom on Friday proposed a $268 billion state budget that is one-third larger than the state’s current spending plan, fueled by surging state tax revenues and federal stimulus money. He said the windfall that produced a $76 billion surplus provides a chance for the most populous state to come “roaring back” from a year mired in the pandemic – to not just recover but to improve basic infrastructure and social programs while rewarding poor and middle-class residents with cash payments. READ MORE: Stimulus Check Update: Will You Get A Fourth Relief Payment? The first-term Democrat called his spending plan an “unprecedented generational and transformational budget.” He said the state’s nearly 40 million residents showed remarkable resiliency during the pandemic and that “set the state up for not just a comeback, but an extraordinary decade, arguably century ahead.” "The State is too damn dirty,"- @GavinNewsom on "Clean California" vows to spend $1.5 billion dollars to clean public spaces, highways, downtown, commercial corridors @CBSSacramento — Marissa Perlman (@MPerlmanNews) May 14, 2021 The timing couldn’t be...
    SACRAMENTO (CBS13) — Gov. Gavin Newsom is set to submit his $100 billion economic recovery package to California lawmakers. A big chunk of the money – around $76 billion – comes from surplus cash the state collected largely from overreacting to the COVID-19 pandemic downturn that was not nearly as severe as first feared. READ MORE: Stimulus Check Update: Will You Get A Fourth Relief Payment? The rest of the money, around $27 billion, comes from federal coronavirus aid. READ MORE: Stolen Car Chase Ends In Crash In Stockton; Driver In Critical Condition Newsom has been touring California this week, highlighting the different investments his budget is expected to make. MORE NEWS: Newsom: Some State Workers Will Not Return To Downtown Sacramento Offices Watch the governor’s press conference live starting at 10 a.m.
    SACRAMENTO — It’s Christmas in May and Gov. Gavin Newsom is playing Santa Claus. The tree where all his gift-wrapped packages are piled is the state vault. The vault is overflowing like never before. Santa is flying around California promising expensive presents to voters who very likely will be deciding in a fall recall election whether to keep or toss him. “It’s easier being Santa Claus than the Grim Reaper,” notes Democratic consultant Steve Maviglio, who was Gov. Gray Davis’ communications director when he was recalled in 2003 and replaced with Republican Arnold Schwarzenegger. Davis was forced to play the Grim Reaper. That’s when the vault was draining and the state budget badly leaking red ink. “We were cutting human services and education programs right and left,” Maviglio recalls. “That’s why we angered many Democrats in the Legislature. We also angered the right by raising the vehicle license fee and reinstating other fees that we had cut. “Newsom’s situation is just the opposite. He can dole out money beyond anyone’s expectations.” Newsom on Monday reported an eye-popping, unprecedented projected state...
    LOS ANGELES (CBSLA) – Governor Gavin Newsom made several stops around the state Wednesday, announcing new initiatives like free school for preschoolers and stimulus payments for California residents as a result of a $76 billion surplus, while the recall election looms. “Right now, he is doing very well,” Jack Pitney, a political analyst and professor of politics, told CBSLA’s Tom Wait. “Number one, he has great fiscal news to report, an enormous budget surplus. There’s some discussion about what to do with it, but that’s a great problem to have.” READ MORE: Fairfax District Apartment Building On Lockdown As Police Search For Suspect Wanted For Assault With Deadly Weapon Newsom’s recall opponents are also campaigning. Republican candidate, former San Diego Mayor Kevin Faulconer, was on the stump in Downey Wednesday to unveil his plan to help California working families. “If you’re an individual making $50,000 or less or a family making $100,000 or less, you will pay no state income taxes,” Faulconer said at the event. READ MORE: Cessna Citation 680 Makes Emergency Landing At Riverside Airport After Windshield Breaks...
    Texas Republicans are advancing legislation to increase taxes at a time when the state is reporting a $725 million budget surplus and is slated to receive $17 billion in federal pandemic relief funding. House Bill 2889 would increase taxes on Texans who purchase travel services through websites like Expedia or Hotwire. It also would have a “negative downstream effect on restaurants, trucking, retail shopping, and more,” according to the tax reform advocacy group Americans for Tax Reform. Filed by state Reps. Morgan Meyer, R–Dallas, and Dustin Burrows, R–Lubbock, the bill would expand the hotel occupancy tax to include non-hotel and other travel services not currently taxed, including cleaning services and telecommunications. According to a fiscal note attached to the bill, the proposed 6% surcharge would raise an additional $30 million in tax revenue in fiscal 2022 and $37 million in fiscal 2023. The bill is supported by the Texas Hotel and Lodging Association, which hired lobbyist Mike Toomey, a primary architect of Gov. Greg Abbott’s COVID-19 restrictions. Abbott was criticized for hiring Toomey as a potential...
    SACRAMENTO (CBS13) – New stimulus checks can go a long way for some Californians, but one economist says Gov. Gavin Newsom’s proposal Monday may not benefit the economy at all. Shelley O’Neill is staying positive despite struggling to find work. Right now, money is tight and an extra $600 could get her out of the truck she’s currently living in. READ MORE: Suspect Killed In San Andreas Hostage Situation Identified, Said To Have Lengthy Criminal History “It would help me out enormously, like a down payment for a…find my way to an apartment,” she said. Aleisha Anderson is a stay-at-home mom. “As far as for me, we have a big family, so an extra income, it’s always gonna help,” she said. Newsom plans to send $600 stimulus checks to people making up to $75,000 a year plus an extra $500 if they have children. The proposal is part of a $100 billion economic recovery plan made possible by a projected $75 billion budget surplus. So how did the state get to this point after facing a multi-billion dollar budget deficit...
    California's state budget has grown to $75.7 billion, Gov. Gavin Newsom said Monday, thanks to a recovering economy, better-than-expected tax revenues, and aid from the federal government's February stimulus package. This marks a drastic turnaround from last summer, when California was facing a budget deficit of $54 billion and Newsom proposed slashing the state budget by 9% and cutting state workers' pay by one-tenth in order to balance the budget. AVERAGE PRICE FOR USED CARS HITS RECORD $25,463 AMID SHORTAGES The budget surplus this year will give Newsom and the state government $38 billion in extra funds to spend on new projects and initiatives. Part of the surplus included the $26 billion the state is expected to receive from President Joe Biden's stimulus package from earlier this year. “California is not coming back, California is going to come roaring back,” Newsom said at a press conference on Monday. The surplus is more than twice what the state finance department estimated at the beginning of the year, reflecting a strong economy that has bounced back from the pandemic-induced recession, particularly for...
    OAKLAND (CBS SF) — As the clock ticks down to California’s reopening from all COVID-19 restrictions on June 15 and with state coffers flush with a $75.7 billion budget surplus, Gov. Gavin Newsom unveiled a $100 billion recovery plan Tuesday which will include individual tax rebates of up to $1,100. Chief among the new proposals Newsom announced Monday was a major expansion of the Golden State Stimulus, providing additional direct payments to middle-class families that make up to $75,000. READ MORE: South Lake Tahoe Boat Ramp Closed Due To Low Water Levels After Dry Winter Under the plan, two-thirds of state residents – individuals and households making between $30,000 and $75,000 annually – will benefit from $600 direct payments. Households with dependents making up to $75,000, including undocumented families, will also now be eligible for an additional $500. The plan triples California’s previous investment, reaching more people and giving bigger benefits. The state’s economy has been ravaged by months of business shutdowns and closures; a stroll through most downtown neighborhoods in the state gives a stark reminder of how economically devastating...
    California’s budget is in the black — by a staggering amount. A state that expected perhaps the most severe budget crunch in American history instead has a more than $75 billion budget surplus, Gov. Gavin NewsomGavin NewsomSanders: Reinstating SALT deduction 'sends a terrible, terrible message' Caitlyn Jenner says she favors path to citizenship for undocumented immigrants Why Caitlyn Jenner should not be dismissed MORE (D) said Monday, after a booming stock market and better-than-anticipated tax revenues over the pandemic-plagued year. As recently as a year ago, California’s top elected officials were staring into a budgetary abyss that made the Great Recession look like a pothole. Newsom’s office projected a budget deficit of up to $54 billion, or about a quarter of the entire state budget. Legislators prepared to cut state government to the bone. “We were scared, all of us,” state Assemblyman Chad Mayes (I) told The Hill last month. “We all agreed, hey, we’re going to take a hit because we’re heavily dependent on high income earners.” But the stock market’s rebound, and its year-long rally, have helped repair...
    OAKLAND (CBS SF) — As the clock ticks down to California’s reopening from all COVID-19 restrictions on June 15 and with state coffers flush with a $75.7 billion budget surplus, Gov. Gavin Newsom unveiled his $100 billion recovery plan Tuesday for a state economy ravaged by months of business shutdowns and closures. A stroll through most downtown neighborhoods in the state gives a stark reminder of how economically devastating the pandemic has been. Stores, restaurants, bars and small businesses have closed for good. Displaced workers have either relied on government aid or taken jobs in other segments of the economy. Many have left have left California. READ MORE: Pedestrian Killed In Hit-and-Run Collision On El Camino Real in Redwood City With new COVID-19 cases and hospitalizations plunging and vaccination rates soaring, Newsom has set a target date of June 15 to lift all businesses restrictions put into place during the pandemic. “I’m about to make an announcement that no other governor in California history has ever made and I would argue that no other governor in American history has...
    New Jersey is poised to end the 2021 fiscal year with a “record surplus” of about $6.4 billion, but federal money is helping make the state’s fiscal picture look as rosy as it does. When lawmakers passed 2021 fiscal year spending, they projected an opening surplus of $2.2 billion, Thomas Koenig, legislative budget and finance officer, said in prepared testimony to the state Senate Budget and Appropriations Committee. That level was anticipated to increase to more than $2.8 billion by the end of the fiscal year. “The revised year-end surplus for the current fiscal year now stands at an astonishing $3.5 billion higher,” Koenig said. “Many factors have brought about this unexpected outcome,” Koenig added. “… But we would be amiss not to acknowledge the federal government’s enormous financial support during the pandemic. Imagine our budget without the over $7.9 billion in federal COVID-19-related supplemental appropriations the state recorded since the pandemic began through March 28.” The surplus does not include additional federal dollars about to flow into the Garden State with the American Rescue Plan...
    The city of San Francisco has a long laundry list of what it wants to do with its $125 million budget surplus, including millions for “cultural equity” in the arts and for families who are in the United States illegally. Even as the city faces epidemics of homelessness and drug overdoses, Mayor London Breed and the city budget board’s chairman prioritized other things, including $2 million for the Family Relief Fund for “vulnerable and undocumented families who were not eligible for other forms of state and federal financial support.” The city finalized a plan this week that designates $1.6 million for “overdose prevention” and none for homelessness but did put aside $10 million for expansion of low-income housing. City officials decided $24 million should go to the arts, including $4.4 million to the Arts Commission’s cultural equity endowment, according to the San Francisco Chronicle. Supervisor Matt Haney, the budget chairman, said in the Chronicle report: These are urgent priorities that can’t wait and this supplemental package will help our city recover and help keep small businesses open, support kids and...
                        Commissioner of the Tennessee Department of Finance and Administration Butch Eley announced Friday that tax revenues to the state for the month of February exceeded the budgeted estimates by $190.9 million, which puts the fiscal year surplus at $1.3 billion. February revenues of $1.13 billion represent an 11.06 percent growth rate or $112.7 million more than February of last year. On an accrual basis, February marks the seventh month in the 2020-2021 fiscal year.  All seven months have seen surpluses in excess of $100 million, the highest surplus being in January with $380.1 million. “The two largest contributors to the state’s tax base, sales and corporate tax revenues, delivered extraordinary growth for the month of February,” Eley said. The state’s sales tax collections for February were $167 million or 24.5 percent ahead of the budget. Eley reported that the growth represented January consumer sales activity in almost all segments of the state’s economy, except for the restaurant and bar industry. He also attributed the boost to online sales...
    MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — For Stephanie Shimp’s seven restaurants currently operating, a forgivable loan from the federal government to help pay their bills was a “lifeline.” “There is no way we would be here without it,” Shimp said. The Paycheck Protection Program loan of nearly $4 million that Blue Plate Restaurant Company received last year was about 10% of the company’s typical annual revenue. “It’s really scary to think we could have a tax bill when we’re upside down,” Shimp said. If businesses met federal criteria — using that money for payroll costs like wages, rent and utilities — that loan is forgiven and free from federal taxes. But thousands of Minnesota businesses like Blue Plate Company that received PPP loans will soon owe the state money if the legislature doesn’t act to match, or “conform,” to federal law. Right now those funds are considered taxable income. For Blue Plate, that’s a looming tax bill of nearly $400,000. “It still isn’t enough to pay everyone or to pay all of our rent or utilities,” Shimp said. “Adding taxes to that when...
    It might be tempting to think the healthier state economic and revenue forecast released Friday will put an end to the Legislative debate over tax increases. The forecast, afterall, transformed a $1.27 billion shortfall for the next two-year budget period to a $1.6 billion projected surplus — nearly the same amount as the $1.66 billion tax increase proposed by Gov. Tim Walz in his budget rollout last month. It appears now that the Walz plan could be funded with current tax rates and revenue, though that plan also dipped into rainy day savings. Ending the tax debate, however, is not happening in St. Paul. Walz said he was open to talking to lawmakers — particularly Republicans who control the Senate — about next steps, but also said he did not rule out still wanting tax hikes, and that he didn’t want to “negotiate with himself.”  And DFL leaders and advocacy groups continue to push for some tax hikes on corporations and high-earners, for what they term as tax fairness issues rather than a requirement to pay for new spending. Walz’s plan...
    The state of Minnesota’s budget picture brightened dramatically Friday, with an announcement by Minnesota Management and Budget that it now projects a $1.6 billion surplus for the state’s next two-year budget cycle. This story will be updated throughout the day, but here are the basics: There goes the project shortfall for next budget period in Minnesota. Is now a $1.6 billion surplus projected on a base of around $52 billion, two-year budget. pic.twitter.com/kyaCNoWeeM — Peter Callaghan (@CallaghanPeter) February 26, 2021 Article continues after advertisement Let’s walk through this … In July, the shortfall for 2021-23 was $4.7 billion. In November it was $1.27 billion. Now the shortfall has been replaced with a $1.6 billion surplus. — Peter Callaghan (@CallaghanPeter) February 26, 2021 Gov. Tim Walz last month proposed a next-two-year budget of $52.4 billion and said he needed a $1.66 billion tax hike over two years to pay for his plan. https://t.co/VC0UEJxYtv — Peter Callaghan (@CallaghanPeter) February 26, 2021 Article continues after advertisement MN Chamber opposed the tax hike when there was still a projected shortfall for...
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