Survey finds ‘grueling year’ and fiscal woes for states

This one piqued my interest.

In one sign of the difficult economic times, 37 states reduced already enacted budgets by almost $14.5 billion, which the organizations called the largest spending cut in the survey’s 27-year history.

Also, governors in 29 states proposed tax and fee increases for fiscal year 2004, for a total tax hike of $17.5 billion. And that is the largest such hike since 1979, according to the survey. The tax and fee increases targeted, among other things, nursing homes, hotels, motor fuel, cigarettes, tobacco, alcohol and the personal incomes tax.

Those are big numbers, but I was suspicious of where that big number was coming from — is this an across the board thing, or was there a single major culprit? You bet there was. When you look at the actual report (CNN didn’t bother to link to it — imagine that) you see one state shining through as the masters of fiscal mismanagment. California.

Let’s look at that $14.5BB in cuts. California: $4.4BB. That’s… uh… 30% of the total. One state.

How about those tax hikes? That $17.5BB? $8.5BB of it is in California. That’s… uh… damned long division… 49% of the increase. So what we have is one state with a $4.4BB shortfall and a $8.5BB tax hike buried in a story about all 50 states. Great reporting there, CNN. Way to edit the press release.

Comments are closed.