Whatever its other attributes or deficiencies may be, Gov. Jerry Brown’s tax increase on the November ballot would make the state budget more dependent on personal income taxes and on the relative handful of wealthy Californians who pay most of those taxes.
By the state’s own numbers, income taxes would rise to well over 60 percent of general fund revenues in the just-enacted 2012-13 budget, about twice their proportion when Brown was governor three decades ago.
So, one might ask, what’s wrong with that?
Income taxes are more volatile – i.e., they rise and fall more frequently and more steeply – than other taxes, especially income taxes on the wealthy because their incomes are tied more to stocks and other capital markets, rather than salaries.