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Tax receipts up, but Steinberg cautious after revenue deflated 'like a souffle' last year

April 27, 2011 |  6:13 pm

Senate President Pro Tem Darrell Steinberg (D-Sacramento) said he wasn't getting "too excited" that California’s tax collections were currently outpacing projections, after watching in 2010 as revenues collapsed "like a souffle."

Heading into April, tax receipts for the fiscal year had exceeded expectations by roughly $2 billion, and income taxes collected this month -- the biggest month of the year for tax collections -- have already nearly matched projections.

In an appearance Wednesday at the Sacramento Press Club, Steinberg said that whatever windfall arrived would not be enough to close California's remaining $15-billion deficit. He renewed the call for Republicans to support taxes and described the specter of slashing $15 billion from state spending as "abhorrent."

Steinberg also said he’s considering the "interesting idea" of cutting spending mostly in the districts of GOP lawmakers, should they refuse to vote for taxes.

"You don't want to pay for government, well then, you get less of it," he said.

He said he would exempt programs for children or the vulnerable. Any such plan would instead focus on cutting back “convenience services that affect adults,” he said, declining to name what those were.

Sen. Bob Huff (R-Diamond Bar), vice chairman of the Senate Budget Committee, responded to Steinberg via Twitter. "Well, heck then," he wrote, "let's just tax the Democrat districts!"

-- Shane Goldmacher in Sacramento