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CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
October 6, 2012 | By Chris Megerian, Los Angeles Times
SACRAMENTO - California Democrats would normally be thrilled by any bid to raise billions of dollars for schools. But not this year. The party establishment is lined up against Proposition 38, a plan bankrolled by millionaire lawyer Molly Munger that would increase education spending by hiking Californians' income taxes. The Democrats and their labor allies, who have formed a campaign committee dedicated to defeating Munger's measure, say the initiative could damage the same schools she wants to rescue.
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CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
November 11, 2012 | By Chris Megerian, Los Angeles Times
SACRAMENTO - The election wasn't even over Tuesday when state Treasurer Bill Lockyer's phone started ringing. Activists of all stripes had the same message for him: With voters apparently poised to approve billions of dollars in tax hikes, it was time to spend more money. "They had to be reminded the money has already been spent," Lockyer said. As California tries to shake its national reputation as a financial bungler, policymakers in Sacramento will be managing an estimated $6 billion in annual revenue from Gov. Jerry Brown's newly approved tax plan, Proposition 30. The money is already included in the budget the governor signed last summer.
BUSINESS
August 12, 2012 | By Kenneth R. Harney
WASHINGTON — Here's some encouraging news for financially stressed homeowners across the country: The Senate Finance Committee has approved a bipartisan bill that would extend the Mortgage Forgiveness Debt Relief Act through 2013. Why is this important? Several reasons: The debt relief law spares homeowners who receive principal reductions on their mortgages from being hit with hefty federal income taxes on the amounts forgiven. Without it, millions of owners who go through foreclosure or leave their homes following short sales would experience even more financial stress.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
August 17, 2012 | By Patrick McGreevy and Michael J. Mishak, Los Angeles Times
SACRAMENTO - State lawmakers won't have to give up free Lakers tickets, Californians won't be able to bet on Dodgers games and Olympic medalists will probably not get tax breaks, after legislators shelved dozens of bills Thursday. Lawmakers also deep-sixed two proposals to regulate the controversial oil-extraction method known as fracking. The casualties included a measure by Sen. Sam Blakeslee (R-San Luis Obispo) that would have prohibited groups lobbying the Legislature from providing lawmakers with free sports and concert tickets, spa treatments, golf games and other gifts.
BUSINESS
November 10, 2012 | By Marc Lifsher, Los Angeles Times
SACRAMENTO - With little fanfare this week, California voters approved a plan to close a corporate tax loophole affecting out-of-state businesses, finance $2.5 billion in clean energy and energy efficiency projects and deliver another $2.5 billion to the state's beleaguered treasury over the next five years. It is a tax increase of modest proportions compared with most in California, but experts say it highlighted the politics of taxation and how some business levies engender strong passion whereas others draw little public attention or electoral opposition.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
July 29, 2010 | George Skelton, Capitol Journal
An eternal optimist, state Senate leader Darrell Steinberg believes he has found a solution to this summer's annual budget standoff. It's conceivable. He calls it "a pathway." Any pathway to a balanced budget, however, still seems like a long trek. We're now four weeks into a new fiscal year without a state spending plan. "We need a greater sense of urgency," says Steinberg, a Sacramento Democrat. No kidding. Also some courage by Democrats to cut more spending and by a few Republicans to raise additional revenue to close a $19.1-billion deficit hole.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
May 16, 2012 | Steve Lopez
In March, when I wrote that the tax increase proposals by Gov. Jerry Brown and civil rights attorney Molly Munger were unimaginative if not doomed, I got an email from Munger. She did not agree, at least with regard to her initiative. "Unimaginative?" she wrote, inviting me to meet with her. This week, I decided to take her up on her offer after watching Brown admit that the financial mess he told us about in January was nothing compared to the mess we're in now. Frankly, I don't know how the January estimates were so far off the mark, with a $9-billion hole turning into a $16-billion hole in less time than it takes to grow tomatoes.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
August 27, 2012 | By Anthony York, Los Angeles Times
SACRAMENTO - Some of the largest corporate interests in California have poured millions of dollars into an initiative campaign this year, as they have many times before. But this time, they're not asking voters to ease industry regulations or limit government power. Instead, they want approval of an $8-billion-a-year tax hike pushed by Gov. Jerry Brown. Since taking office more than 18 months ago, the Democratic governor has held dozens of meetings with such unnatural allies as oil companies, insurers and telecommunications interests that typically stand with Republicans, taking stock of their concerns and pitching them on the need for higher taxes.
BUSINESS
April 13, 2012 | By W.J. Hennigan
Procrastinators: Worried about having to file for yet another extension this year with the upcoming tax deadline? Breathe easy. Tax day is typically April 15. Every year,  people across the nation rush to get their documents in order to meet that deadline. But this year, April 15 falls on a Sunday. And April 16 happens to be a Washington, D.C. holiday called Emancipation Day, which celebrates President Abraham Lincoln's signing of the Compensated Emancipation Act in 1862.
OPINION
November 30, 2011 | By Nick Schulz
Occupy Wall Street supporters are claiming credit for at least one political accomplishment: elevating the issue of income inequality to the top of the national conversation. The Occupiers are right about American incomes: They've definitely grown more unequal. But this fact presents three inconvenient truths for the Occupy Wall Street movement. First, let's look at the top end of the income ladder. It's true that the rich — especially the top 1% — are getting richer, widening the gap between the top earners and everyone else.
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