Your move Albany

Any Californians with Bright Ideas on Tax Policy Are Invited to Speak Up

God knows it can’t get any worse.

These hearings give you the opportunity to present your ideas, concerns, and recommendations regarding legislation, the quality of agency services, and other issues related to the Board’s administration of its tax programs. At the business taxes hearings you can comment on the administration of sales and use taxes, environmental fees, fuel taxes, and excise taxes. At the property tax hearings you can comment on the property tax programs and laws administered by the Board, and identify ways to resolve any problems identified in the Taxpayers’ Rights Advocates’ 2009-10 Annual Report.

Taxpayers’ Bill of Rights Hearings [BOE via Tax Foundation]

Lindsay Lohan Probably Costing California Taxpayers Millions Albeit Less Than Real Fiscal Problems

You may have heard that California is having some budget issues. Sure there’s this Wisconsin business and all that but seriously folks, Californ-I-A is really in the fiscal shithouse. There are a number of reasons for this, most of which we won’t get into here but it should be noted that ill-behaved celebrities haven’t been receiving their fair share of blame in the press.

Luckily we have the real America’s news network going to great lengths to inform us about Lindsay Lohan’s role in fiscal catastrophe:

Factoring in all the court dates, court postponements (like when she was partying in Cannes and couldn’t get back to the U.S for a hearing), arraignments, judge and prosecutor fees, jail visits (she has had three stints in the slammer – 84 minutes, two weeks and one evening before posting bail, mug shots (four and counting), probation officers, random drug testing resources, SCRAM bracelets (these generally cost over $100 to install and have a daily fee of about $18) and LAPD security to and from court, how much is Lohan costing the taxpayer?

“It has been four years, and we’re talking about quite a few county law enforcement professionals, so it is probably safe to say several million dollars,” California-based civil law trial attorney David Wohl told FOX411’s Pop Tarts.

And given that Lohan has thus far refused to enter into a plea deal regarding the theft incident, her current theft case could potentially go to trial, costing Californians much more.

MILLIONS! It’s been a while since your humble editor had to make any materiality calculations but taking a quick look around, California’s budget deficit is currently in the nabe of $25 billion. So apparently if LiLo was shipped off to the Dakotas, Wyoming, or some other state that was in a less dire financial situation, things in Cali would be plumb-dandy? Strange thing however, there doesn’t appear to be an “elimination of celebrities that are a burden on society” on the L.A. Times’s budget balancer.

Perhaps Fox is onto something here? Jerry Brown would probably appreciate the other help. Pro bono of course.

Experts: Court-Prone Lindsay Lohan Costing Taxpayers Millions [Fox News via Jezebel]

New Jersey Should Send a ‘Thank You’ Note to California and New York

“In the recently-released 2011 State Business Tax Climate Index, New Jersey finally moved out of its last-place ranking on that list, in part due to Christie’s veto of the millionaires’ tax he mentioned during his interview. While it still ranks a pretty dismal 48 out of 50, it proves that improvement is possible, even in a state with a tax policy legacy as historically abysmal as New Jersey’s.” [Tax Foundation]

BREAKING: California Manages to Approve a Budget Before Electing a New Governor

Which is significant because A) neither of the current candidates has cyborg abilities that would allow them to go back in time to fix anything and B) some people were getting antsy:

“You’ve got to get things moving. You’ve got to patch something together to keep operations going,” said John Moorlach, an Orange County supervisor.

Having a state budget in law is “extraordinarily important,” added Mayor Chuck Reed of San Jose, California’s third-largest city.

Yeah, after 100 days, you figure you should slap something together. A sorry-ass $87.5 billion budget for one of the largest economies on EARTH is better than no budget at all, amiright?

California budget approved 100 days late [Reuters]

California Controller All But Guarantees That the State Will Issue IOUs Again

As the State Controller of California, John Chiang arguably has one of the worst jobs on Earth. Public service is a fine calling and working for the Terminator probably has its moments of awesomeness but he still presides over one of largest fiscal nightmares you could possibly imagine.

For starters, it doesn’t help when you overshoot tax revenues for the month of April by $3 billion. Plus, you’re dealing with a state legislature that is probably incapable of agreeing on what ocean serves as the border of their state.

So take that and a bunch of other stuff that’s not really worth rehashing, you get this, “[W]ithout a new spending plan that closes a $19 billion shortfall, the state would run out of money by late October. ‘We will run out of money if everything remains the same,’ [Chiang] said in an interview.”


Of course the state Assembly’s Republican leader, Martin Garrick, finds this to be a load of crap since what it comes down really is your political party “[He] didn’t represent the fact that it is his party’s own lack of leadership that have led to these delays.”

Look, we’ve all accepted the fact that California is the brokest-ass state of the union and is completely inept when it comes to doing anything about it. Sure New York is a pathetic loser that manages to embarrass itself on a regular basis and most of the rest of the states out there leave a helluva a lot to be desired but Cali really outdoes everyone on a regular basis. This will make two years straight of issuing IOUs at the expense of citizens and yet the diaper-wearing California reps do nothing.

If Whitman gets in there, her first act as Guv could be to auction them off one by one (or just list them all as “Buy It Now” for $1). Of course the take wouldn’t be nearly enough to fix the budget but at this point a symbolic gesture will do.

California Faces Prospect of Issuing IOUs Again [WSJ]

California’s Budget Crisis Streak Continues

“Without a budget in place that addresses our $19 billion budget deficit, every day of delay brings California closer to a fiscal meltdown,”

~ California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger probably wouldn’t mind having the ability to go back in time and try to do something. Anything.