Many California voters support Gov. Jerry Brown's compromise tax hike proposal, but they are wary of how funds generated from the increase will be used, according to a new poll by the University of Southern California's Dornsife College of Letters, Arts and Sciences and the Los Angeles Times, the Times reports.
The poll surveyed 1,002 registered voters from May 17 through May 21 (York, Los Angeles Times, 5/30).
Details of Tax Measure
The 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.
Earlier this month, Brown began submitting voter signatures to qualify the measure for the November ballot (California Healthline, 5/25).
According to the poll, 59% of respondents said they would support the tax hike plan after being told about the state's growing deficit and the governor's plan to address the shortfall with a combination of tax increases and spending cuts. Thirty-six percent of respondents said they would vote against the tax hike proposal, according to the poll.
However, when respondents heard arguments against the plan -- such as a criticism that the state government could waste new funding derived from the tax increase instead of spending it on schools, public safety and other services -- only 50% said they would support the measure, while 42% said they would vote against it.
Brown's Job Approval Rating
According to the poll, 49% of respondents approved of Brown's job performance, while 39% disapproved of it. The findings are mostly unchanged from three months ago, before Brown announced that the state's deficit had increased to $16 billion, according to the Times (Los Angeles Times, 5/30).