Amid budget gridlock, Governor proposes taxing services statewide
August 25, 2010 (Sacramento) – Assemblyman Marty Block (D-Lemon Grove) today warned that while the budget is stalled in the Legislature, students cannot receive the funds distributed through the Cal Grants program.
"Cal Grants provide the greatest bang for the taxpayer buck, because they are a proven and effective means of expanding college access and producing more graduates and retrained workers," said Block, who added that the state is failing to live up to its promise of making college accessible to students.
Block, who chairs the Assembly Committee on Education, issued the remarks in a press conference held with Assemblymembers Julia Brownley (D-Santa Monica) and Tom Torlakson (D-Contra Costa) and students from California colleges. All called on the Legislature to approve a budget.
Democrats have sought to increase revenues through plans such as adding a well-head tax on oil, as all other oil-producing states already have done. Republicans reject that plan and have refused to approve any budget proposal that would increase revenues, insisting on deeper cuts in services instead to balance the budget.
Meanwhile, the constitutional deadline to pass a budget has again expired, meaning schools, local governments, nonprofit organizations and individuals who are dependent on state funding face the prospect of not receiving money.
Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger proposed yesterday that the state should lower its sales tax rate, but start taxing "all services" that now go untaxed. According to the Sacramento Bee, “The Republican governor, speaking to business leaders at the Goleta Valley Chamber of Commerce, framed the change as a way to stabilize California's tax system, which he said relies too heavily on income taxes paid by wealthy earners.”