Brown Submits Voter Signatures Supporting Compromise Tax Plan

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On Thursday, Gov. Jerry Brown (D) submitted voter signatures to the Sacramento County Registrar of Voters to qualify a compromise tax hike plan for the November ballot, the Sacramento Bee reports.

The signatures submitted in Sacramento are the first of about 1.5 million that Brown plans to submit statewide (Siders, Sacramento Bee, 5/11).

Details of Compromise Tax Plan

The compromise tax hike plan -- developed by Brown and supporters of the "Millionaires Tax" -- would:

  • Increase the personal income tax by one percentage point for individuals who earn $250,000 annually or couples who earn $500,000 annually and by two percentage points for individuals who earn $300,000 annually or couples who earn $600,000 annually;
  • Extend the income tax increases on wealthy residents from five to seven years; and
  • Increase the sales tax by a quarter of a cent.

The sales tax hike would expire in four years.

The proposal would raise an estimated $9 billion over the next fiscal year (California Healthline, 5/4).

The compromise plan faces competition from a plan by attorney Molly Munger, called "Our Children, Our Future." Munger's plan aims to raise income taxes for all residents, with the highest earners seeing the largest hike. Most of the funds raised would support education programs (California Healthline, 4/17).

Addressing California's Fiscal Problems

At an event at the registrar's office on Thursday, Brown said that the compromise tax plan is necessary to avert additional dire budget cuts. He said of the plan, "It's balanced, it's fair and it will take a major step forward in putting California in a very solid position."

Next week, Brown is expected to release a revised version of his 2012-2013 fiscal year budget plan. It is expected to rely on up to $9 billion in revenue from the compromise tax hike initiative.

Brown said, "We are facing a world that is full of economic uncertainties, but with this tax measure, and with the cuts that I'll be proposing on Monday, California will put itself in a very, very strong position."

Brown would not provide details on the revised budget, noting only that it "will be a difficult day in Sacramento" (Sacramento Bee, 5/11).

Brown Responds to Munger's Idea for a Cooperative Approach

Earlier this week, Munger said that while there is no time to merge her plan with the compromise tax plan, there is time to "find a path where we can run a cooperative campaign that maximizes the chances we get a successful outcome this fall." Munger said that she is "optimistic that there is a path to some sort of cooperative approach here" (California Healthline, 5/8).

At the event on Thursday, Brown was noncommittal about the prospect of working with Munger. However, he said that he will "work with anyone to achieve a protection of our schools and a firm financial footing" (Sacramento Bee, 5/11).


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