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Facing a significant budget shortfall, state leaders must do everything they can to protect critical services and exhaust all alternatives to cuts that would jeopardize people’s well being. This should include responsibly drawing on state budget reserves and raising additional revenue by making the tax system more fair.

California spends tens of billions of dollars each year on tax breaks, some of the largest of which benefit wealthy corporations and individuals. These tax breaks take billions of dollars away from communities, while perpetuating racial income and wealth gaps. Yet the governor proposes raising just $400 million by closing tax breaks this year — less than 1% of his proposed budget solutions.

Making the tax system more fair should be a top long-term priority — not just to prevent cuts when there’s a budget shortfall, but to make possible the investments that are needed to help Californians thrive. All Californians deserve access to economic opportunity, housing, and health care, and policymakers have the means to achieve this vision through fairer taxation.

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