SACRAMENTO – Senator Ted Gaines (R-El Dorado) today issued the following statement regarding Governor Brown’s attempt to side-step the Gann Limit, which restricts California’s government spending to the 1978-79 level and only allows it to grow adjusted for inflation and population. Under the Gann Limit, state revenues above the voter-approved limit are required to be refunded to taxpayers.
“From the same governor who brought you the illegal fire tax now comes a plan to blow the top off California’s spending cap and leave taxpayers on the hook for tens of billions in extra taxes. It’s a bad idea that fractures the faith between citizens and government and spells trouble for California’s fiscal future.
“It’s hard to believe the state even has an expenditure limit and that 30 years ago, during a boon year for tax revenues, the state issued more than one billion dollars in rebates to relieved taxpayers who finally had some protection from an insatiable Sacramento. This would create a wave of panic attacks in today’s money-hungry capitol.
“Although the Gann Limit has since been watered down, it’s still the law designed to protect taxpayers. According to a recent report by the nonpartisan Legislative Analyst’s Office, Governor Brown’s new budget proposes taking $22 billion off the Gann Limit books this year. That money would not be accounted for as state spending or as local spending, it would just “disappear.” This allows the Governor to trick his way around the spending cap.
“I have a novel idea: Live up to the law. If taxpayers deserve rebates, give them rebates. Don’t twist and distort or outright ignore the law just because it lets taxpayers keep more of their money. They earned it in the first place. It’s a sad commentary on our state, but when it comes to raising your taxes, rules seem made to be broken.”