Senate Democrats today plan to roll out a $4.9 billion package of tax hikes on cars, alcohol, income and corporate profits.
According to a budget committee analysis, the Democratic 2010-11 plan includes:
-- Suspending corporate tax breaks scheduled to begin Jan. 1 (worth $2.05 billion)
-- Extending a 0.25 percent income tax surcharge that is scheduled to end Dec. 31. (worth $1 billion)
-- Extending a $217 per dependent reduction in the state's dependent income tax credit, also scheduled to end Dec. 31 (worth $430 million)
-- Raising the vehicle-license fee from 1.15 percent to 1.50 percent of estimated value starting July 1 of this year (worth $1.2 billion)
-- Increasing the state's alcohol tax by an inflation-adjusted amount; these rates currently remain at 1991 levels (worth $210 million)
Democrats see the tax hikes as a way to avoid safety net eliminations proposed by Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger to bridge a $19.1 billion deficit in 2010-11. The Republican governor and GOP legislators already have said they refuse to consider new taxes.
But it is early in the budget season, and Democrats are trying to position themselves ahead of serious negotiations in which they will try to avoid the elimination of state-subsidized child care and welfare-to-work. Lawmakers will consider the proposals in a budget subcommittee hearing this afternoon.
Democrats also will propose extending tax hikes beyond this budget year. That includes retaining the 2009-approved temporary tax hike on vehicles for two more years (through June 30, 2013), as well as retaining the temporary tax hikes on income through the end of the 2012 tax year. It also includes suspending the corporate tax breaks through 2012.