Bloomberg News

Brown Will Seek ‘Serious Cuts’ in California Budget Plan

May 03, 2012

California Governor Jerry Brown said he’ll propose “serious cuts” when he unveils a revised budget in two weeks, after tax revenue trailed his projections by $3.1 billion.

The 74-year-old Democrat was already facing a $9.2 billion deficit before the shortfall made it worse. Income-tax revenue in April alone fell short of his budget estimate by $2 billion.

The governor of the most populous U.S. state is seeking a voter initiative to temporarily raise income taxes and sales levies to help prevent further cuts. California has fought deficits every year since 2007 as the longest recession since the Depression reduced tax collections.

“On May 14, I’m going to present a balanced budget proposal with very serious cuts,” Brown said in an interview in Los Angeles yesterday. He declined to specify areas that may bear the biggest reductions, saying much depends on the fate of his November ballot initiative.

“This is a budget proposal that will work,” Brown said. “It will balance the budget and it will contain more cuts than taxes.”

Brown spoke at an event promoting the California Pet Lover’s License Plate, which helps finance low-cost spay and neuter programs.

“Unlike some politicians who can’t chew gum and jump rope, I can do multiple tasking,” he said when asked how he could take time away from more pressing matters like solving the state deficit. “More people care about dogs and cats than they do about the folks in Sacramento. We’re doing stuff.”

To contact the reporters on this story: Michael B. Marois in Sacramento at mmarois@bloomberg.net; James Nash in Los Angeles at jnash24@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Stephen Merelman at smerelman@bloomberg.net


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