Brown seeks 5-year extension of California taxes

  • Gov. Jerry Brown gestures as he discusses his approach to dealing with an estimated $25.4 billion state budget deficit during news conference where he released his $84.6 billion general fund state spending plan at the Capitol in Sacramento, Calif., Monday, Jan. 10, 2011. (AP Photo/Rich Pedroncelli)

SACRAMENTO — Gov. Jerry Brown proposed a budget for the coming fiscal year Monday that deals with the state's ongoing deficit with tough medicine for nearly every Californian, making deep cuts to most areas of government while calling for a five-year extension of tax increases enacted in 2009.

In releasing his first budget plan, the newly elected Democratic governor said he wanted to end the types of acccounting gimmicks, borrowing tricks and overly optimistic revenue assumptions that characterized the recent budgets signed by former Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger.

His budget projects the deficit at $25.4 billion over the next 18 months.

To close it, Brown called for $12.5 billion in spending cuts, including reductions in welfare, social services, health care for the poor, community colleges and a combined $1 billion cut to the University of California and California State University systems.

Brown also wants the Legislature to call a special election in June to give voters an opportunity to continue increases in the income, sales and vehicle taxes for five years. The taxes were approved two years ago next month and are due to expire this year.

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