Governor Brown's budget plan

The continually morphing budget deficit that has raised concern for Californians is approaching a new chapter. Governor Jerry Brown has proposed a plan for raising tax revenue in order to fill the state's budget gap. The plan includes $12.5 billion in tax extensions, according to The Sacramento Bee. Some California voters agree with Brown on the issue and are in favor of increasing tax revenue, as long as there is a vote on it. "A balanced budget is crucial for any entity. If we as a state have overspent, then whatever measures are necessary to put the system back in balance are justified," said local business owner, Wendy Keller, of Keller Media Inc.

Increasing the state's taxes would grant California an extra $9.2 billion a year, according to FOX 11 News.

Brown's proposal entails a five-year tax extension of increased rates in: personal income, sales, and vehicle taxes. Brown is intending a 0.25 percent surcharge on state income taxes, 0.5 percent increase in vehicle license fees and a 1-cent increase in the state sales tax, according to the Los Angeles Times. However, in May, voters rejected a two-year extension of the same taxes in a special election called by Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger. At this time, Brown is asking that they reconsider.

A survey conducted by the Public Policy Institute of California found that 65 percent of likely voters are very concerned that public schools will suffer if deeper cuts are made to education in order to help close the state's remaining $15.4 billion budget deficit.

"A tax increase will be the final nail in California's financial coffin," said Arnold Schwarzenegger in an article run in the Sacramento Bee. "The people of California did not elect me to destroy jobs and businesses by raising taxes."

Brown will speak at the California State Parent Teacher Association's 112th convention regarding any changes that may potentially affect education. Several Californians, according to Associated Press, are concerned about the impact of any future budget cuts on public schools but most don't want to see their own taxes going up to solve the problem.

"A college used to be a place of institutionalized learning, and now it's become more of a free-throw. Teachers are getting cut, books are expensive, parking is ridiculous, and the classes are getting so big that teachers can't affectively teach the students anymore," said SMC student Hunter Irons. "The government needs to be run like a business, not like a political scam. They need to focus on better ways to spend California's money, and apply it towards something important like education."

The tax increase proposal has not yet been fully determined. Brown is still working to get the proposal on an official ballot to be voted on in June, though he has not found immediate success for his efforts. Many Republican voters in the state Legislature are not supportive of the proposal at this time.

According to the Los Angeles Times, some of the cuts California may endure in addition to the tax increases will be roughly $1.5 billion cut from welfare, $1.7 from Medi-Cal, $500 million each from the UC and CSU systems, $750 million from services for the developmentally disabled, and cuts coming from the state bureaucracy at $200 million.

"Obviously no matter what, some one, on some side, is going to be unhappy," said Santa Monica City Council Member Kevin McKeown.