Tim Cook

What's hurting California's budget: The rich aren't getting richer as fast as they used to

What's hurting California's budget: The rich aren't getting richer as fast as they used to

Income growth is slowing for the highest-earning Californians.

That’s the single biggest driver of the $1.6-billion deficit projected on a $179.5-billion overall budget by Gov. Jerry Brown on Tuesday.  And once again it is raising the question of whether California has grown too reliant on taxing rich people with often wildly fluctuating incomes.

“We are lining ourselves up for a massive budgetary crisis. It’s a function of when and not if,” said Chris Thornberg, co-founder of Beacon Economics, a Los Angeles-based consulting firm. “It’s hard to feel bad for someone whose income goes from $2 million to $1 million in a year, but...

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