Thursday, February 05, 2009

Race to the bottom

The San Jose Mercury News is reporting the following developments in California:

Several counties are considering some form of tax revolt—either filing lawsuits or delaying tax payments to the state—because the governor has proposed withholding payments to them for as long as seven months in a move to preserve cash.

Local governments already are missing out because the state has imposed a 30-day payment delay to counties.

Colusa County decided to impose a 30-day delay on sending any taxes and fees it collects to the state.

... the state could in turn withhold sales tax revenue from the counties because the state needs to ensure it has enough cash throughout the year to pay its debt.

Meanwhile, back in Illinois-
A tanking economy and "smoke-and-mirrors" fiscal approach by former Gov. Rod Blagojevich is expected to trigger an $8.95 billion budget shortfall come July 1, state Comptroller Dan Hynes is warning.

The federal economic-stimulus package could pump $3 billion into the state's coffers, but that still would leave the state facing a $6 billion gap, according to [Comptroller] Hynes.

The Southern (Southern Illinois newspaper) reports:
Patton said the national average reimbursement for Medicaid is around 30 days, but Illinois was 130 days behind at one point. However, a recent short-term borrowing plan has allowed Medicaid to catch up to about 80 to 90 days.

While Illinois won't be improving things anytime soon, California will be getting so much worse so much faster that we'll look great in comparison.

And one last thing - California now has the worst credit rating of all 50 states. They were tied with Louisiana for worst, but the latest downgrade left them all alone at the bottom.

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