Brown Expected To Propose Tax Hike for Inclusion on 2012 Ballot


Gov. Jerry Brown (D) is expected on Friday to propose a November 2012 ballot measure that would increase income and sales tax rates, the Contra Costa Times reports (Harmon, Contra Costa Times, 11/30).

The Legislative Analyst's Office recently estimated that this fiscal year's deficit will reach $3.7 billion, raising the prospect for automatic cuts to schools, and health and human services programs. LAO also estimated that the state will face a $13 billion deficit in the next fiscal year.

Details of the Proposal

The governor's proposal aims to increase income taxes by:

  • 1% for residents who earn more than $250,000 annually;
  • 1.5% for residents who earn between $300,000 and $500,000; and
  • 2% for residents who earn more than $500,000.

The proposal also would increase the state sales tax by half a cent.

According to sources familiar with the plan, the tax hikes would expire at the end of 2016.

Brown could submit the proposal to the state Office of the Attorney General as early as Friday to start the process of gathering enough signatures to put the measure on the ballot (Mishak/Riccardi, "PolitiCal," Los Angeles Times, 11/30).

Analysts said that even if voters approve the tax hikes, the revenue generated would not be sufficient to cover next fiscal year's estimated deficit of $13 billion.

Several Other Tax Increase Plans Proposed

Brown's proposal comes at a time when several other interest groups have proposed tax plans for the November ballot.

Political analysts said voters could reject all proposed tax increase measures if too many are included on the ballot.

According to the Times, Brown is aiming to drum up support among business, education and labor leaders so that supporters of other measures to hike taxes drop their plans and support his (Contra Costa Times, 11/30).

Michael Pogachar
Thank you for your comment. The proposed tax rates in the story pertain to individual filers. There are separate income brackets for heads of household and joint filers. More details on the proposed tax rates for separate groups can be found at the link below, under "Tax Rates." --The Editors
Steve Stellios
For the proposed tax increases above, are those income brackets per person? In other words, are they doubled for married couples filed jointly?
Ken Esrailian
In all these proposals I do not see any downsizing of the government. We keep cutting the essential services, but the size of the government and cost of financing their employees’ benefits keep going up.
Michael Pogachar
Thank you for your comment, Ms. Groome. The language in this article has been updated. -The Editors
James Roache PharmD
Way to go Kimberly! All too often we are seeing this shift in mentality from "earning" to "receiving," as if someone gave us our salary. So typical of the liberal, socialistic ideology our State is running towards. This article again signals that our Governor still just "doesn't get it." Higher taxes on job creators will never balance a budget. I am one of those high earners who happens to employ 25 California taxpayers. I will simply balance by personal budget by proportionally withdrawing the amount of free healthcare services that I provide to my community now. I will balance my company budget by accepting fewer and fewer Medi-Cal recipients where the gross profit for tose services does not cover the cost to provide those services. It's called "sharing the liability."

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