The 50 United States have tax systems so different it-s almost impossible to meaningfully compare them. By the crudest measure, Californians pay $3500 a year, which the independent Tax Foundation calls the seventh highest tax burden in the US. As budget bills move out of committees and onto the floors of the state Senate and the Assembly, Republicans say the only way to make up for a $38 billion deficit is to cut spending. Democrats say they-re willing to make some cuts, but that tax increases will also be needed to provide the services Californians demand. Can we afford to pay more? Can we afford not to? As legislators in Sacramento debate the specifics, we-ll tackle the broader issues with the leaders of the California Taxpayers' Association and a Sacramento-based research group that analyzes policy affecting low and middle income Californians.
- Making News: Council Passes Budget without Extra Cops, with Cuts
LA Mayor Jim Hahn tried to save his plan to hire 320 more cops for the LAPD with an across-the-board budget cut of 3 percent, but today the City Council responded by passing its own $5.1 billion budget by a vote of 11-to-3, enough of a margin to override the Mayor-s threatened veto. Expressing disappointment at the rejection of his proposal, Mayor Hahn says he'll stand by his promise to veto the Council's budget.
- Reporter's Notebook: Connie Rice to head Fifth Rampart Inquiry Panel
In 1999, an LA cop named Rafael Perez reported that he and fellow officers routinely planted evidence, framed suspects and covered up unjustified shootings. Despite four different investigations of what came to be called the -Rampart Scandal,- Mayor Hahn-s Police Commission has appointed civil rights attorney Connie Rice to head yet another look into one of the LAPD-s worst incidents of corruption.
LA City Council Committee on Budget and Finance
Assembly Budget Committee
Senate Budget Committee
Los Angeles Police Department
Board of LA Police Commissioners
Rampart Board of Inquiry Final Report