There may be no new taxes in Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger’s budget, but there’s a surprise for lead-foot drivers. He wants to add speed sensors to red-light cameras and send people tickets for speeding. The recommended fines are $225 for up to 15 mph over the limit and $325 for more than 15 mph over the limit.
Good news for Santa Rosa drivers: Those red light camera boxes on Mendocino and Dutton avenues have been empty for years. The contract was expensive, and courts were skeptical of the evidence.
Schwarzenegger also returned to a theme from his State of the State speech, arguing that California is short-changed by Washington. He says the state gets 78-cents from the federal government for every dollar it collects in taxes. Alaska, he pointed out, gets $1.84 and Mississippi gets more than $2.
It’s an appealing argument but veteran political writer John Wildermuth offered a strong rebuttal in his blog at foxandhoundsdaily.
Here’s a link, and here’s the Cliff’s Notes version: California has one of the highest household incomes in the country and, under a progressive income tax structure, that means more money going to the IRS. On the other side of the equation, most of the surplus states have aging populations collecting lots of Social Security or a big federal presence, military or otherwise. California has neither.
And probably very little hope of persuading Congress to write a big check to the state treasury.
— Jim Sweeney