LOS ANGELES, Jan. 6 (Xinhua) -- Anti-tax groups in California Tuesday filed a lawsuit to block the state's budget plan that would increase taxes on gasoline, sales and personal income.
The Howard Jarvis Taxpayers Association and other groups argue that such tax proposals cannot be passed without approval from two-thirds of the state legislature.
The groups, who filed the lawsuit in a state appeals court in Sacramento, the state capital, said they wanted immediate court intervention against Democrat lawmakers' plan to cut the state budget deficit by 18 billion U.S. dollars through raising taxes, the Sacramento Bee daily reported on its website.
The budget plan, proposed by Democrats in the state legislature, was approved last month with a simple majority vote, but has yet to be sent to Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger. The governor has promised to veto it when it reaches his desk.
The groups filed their petition against the California Legislature, Schwarzenegger and other state officials.
Jon Coupal, president of Howard Jarvis Taxpayers Association, said that the legislative act itself was unconstitutional and he wants the court to intervene before the legislature sends its bills to the governor.
California's state constitution requires for a two-thirds vote on most tax measures, allowing Republican lawmakers to block broad-based tax hike proposals in recent years, even though their party is in the minority. Almost all of the Republican lawmakers in the legislature have signed a pledge never to raise taxes.
Governor Schwarzenegger has been trying to cut California's 40-billion-dollar deficit as the state see declining tax and fee revenues and find it difficult to sell public bonds amid the deteriorating U.S. economic recession.