The California Taxpayers Association handed ammunition Monday to opponents of this year's proposed tax increases - a report that outlines $7.3 billion in operational savings and non-tax "revenue enhancements" in state and local governments.
That's roughly 5 percent of annual state and local tax collections and approaches the revenue estimates for Gov. Jerry Brown's sales and income tax boost and a rival income tax increase sponsored by wealthy attorney Molly Munger. Brown's measure would address the state's budget deficit while Munger's would boost spending on schools.
"This report makes tangible, pragmatic recommendations that will yield long-term savings to address our current fiscal constraints and get state and local governments back on solid financial footing," CalTax president Teresa Casazza said in a statement that accompanied the report's release.
CalTax is a Sacramento-based organization, supported mostly by business groups, that tracks state and local government tax and budget matters and generally opposes tax increases. Its report lists $4.01 billion in permanent savings items, another $104 million in one-time savings and $3.19 billion in revenue increases.
None of the individual proposals involves big money, as the Capitol defines it; they are a grab bag of operational changes, such as reducing lease costs and privatization of some public services, many of which have kicked around the Capitol for years, mostly as Republican suggestions.
The "revenue enhancements" are fewer and larger, such as cleaning up delinquent tax accounts that, CalTax says, could produce $2.3 billion in one-time revenue,