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Tax Increases Talked About

California´s budget woes are triggering talk of tax increases. Over the past four years, California´s residents and businesses have enjoyed some $4 billion in tax breaks. But now proposals have surfaced to tack an extra nickel onto the price of beer and to raise taxes for the state´s wealthiest residents, on cigarettes and for car registration tags – and more are sure to come.

Republican leaders have vowed to extinguish any such proposals. Although they are the minority party in a Democrat-dominated state, the GOP has just enough pull in the Legislature to block the needed two-thirds vote to enact tax hikes.

But Democrats say the state can´t erase a budget deficit that could reach $30 billion without some increases in revenue.