Image: true

Statement: The state’s “largest revenue source is income tax,” Jay Goldstone, the city of San Diego’s chief operating officer, told KUSI recently.

Determination: True

Analysis: Goldstone appeared on KUSI last week to talk about redevelopment’s death and urged state lawmakers to create a similar government program in its place.

He argued that redevelopment spurs economic growth and more jobs would benefit California’s treasury through personal income taxes.

“The state relies heavily on economic development, on jobs,” Goldstone said. “Its largest revenue source is income tax and if there aren’t the jobs that are getting created or expansion of businesses, that’s going to have a direct impact on the state.”

Goldstone’s description of state revenues merited a Fact Check because he used it to buttress his argument for restoring redevelopment. If income taxes are not the state’s largest source of money, his argument to subsidize business would carry less weight.

After checking past state financial records and more recent reports, we found Goldstone’s description to be accurate. The state gets about half its money from personal income taxes —more than any other source.

The regular deduction on your paycheck is the largest of California’s “big three taxes,” which generate about 90 percent of state funding. The other two are the sales and use tax, and the corporate income and franchise tax. (The state doesn’t get property taxes. That money goes to local agencies like cities, counties and schools.)

For more gritty details, you can check out this report by the State Controller’s Office, this report by the state Department of Finance or this report by the nonpartisan Legislative Analyst’s Office. All support Goldstone’s description.

Since state financial documents support the claim, we’ve rated it True. If you disagree with our determination or analysis, please express your thoughts in the comments section of this blog post. Be sure to explain your reasoning.

Keegan Kyle is a news reporter for He writes about public safety and handles the Fact Check Blog. What should he write about next?

Please contact him directly at or 619.550.5668. You can also find him on Twitter (@keegankyle) and Facebook.

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