University of California’s Continuing Budget Problems

Be on notice kids. The University of California will likely hike tuition by more than 20 percent if voters don’t approve a massive tax hike for the whole state.

According to an article by Matt Krupnick of the San Jose Mercury-News:

UC regents next week will discuss the increase, which would take effect in January. If voters approve the tax package, which would include sales and income taxes, the 10-campus university would likely keep tuition at its 2011-12 levels.

The tuition debate comes after last month’s passage of an incentive-laden state budget that would reward both the UC and California State University systems for freezing tuition at last year’s levels, but only if the tax package is approved. The deal would require the schools to forego additional funds this year, but the state would pay the universities $125 million more each in 2013.

Cal State also plans to hike tuition if the citizens don’t approve Governor Jerry Brown’s budget.

This is, as I wrote before, part of a very complicated deal whereby California legislators agreed with the governor to give more money to state colleges. But in order to get the money colleges can’t raise tuition, and the voters of California have to approve a roughly $8 billion tax increase (though sales and income taxes).

This tax increase, however, won’t actually give California public colleges much more money. Last year the state cut funding for UC by $650 million. If Californians approve the tax increase, the university will only get another $125 million.

Daniel Luzer

Daniel Luzer is the news editor at Governing Magazine and former web editor of the Washington Monthly. Find him on Twitter: @Daniel_Luzer