At an event on Thursday, California Republican leaders declared their opposition to a compromise tax hike proposal by Gov. Jerry Brown (D) and supporters of the "Millionaires Tax," the Sacramento Bee reports (Yamamura/Siders, Sacramento Bee, 5/4).
Details of Tax Hike Plan
The compromise tax hike plan 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, down from Brown's original half-cent increase.
The sales tax hike would expire in four years.
The proposal would raise an estimated $9 billion over the next fiscal year (California Healthline, 4/17).
GOP Event Details
The event on Thursday marked the launch of a new campaign for California Republicans to identify themselves as the "Party of Yes." They emphasized their support for jobs and tax relief, among other things.
California Republican Party Chair Tom Del Beccaro said the tax hike plan would drive businesses and residents out of the state. He said, "We think it's the wrong way to go."
Republican leaders also promoted their state budget proposal, which does not raise taxes (Sacramento Bee, 5/4).
The GOP budget plan includes $4.2 billion in spending cuts -- $1 billion of which would come from CalWORKs, the state's welfare-to-work program -- and $1.4 billion in accounting maneuvers and delayed debt repayment.
The GOP plan replaces Brown's tax revenue with $4.4 billion from additional cuts, transfers and other revenue sources, including:
- $1.3 billion from Proposition 63 tax funds allocated for mental health services;
- $400 million from a plan to reduce state worker pay by 4.6%, which equals one monthly furlough day;
- $226 million from tobacco taxes, the majority of which is allocated for First 5 early childhood health and educational programs; and
- $158 million from reducing hours and pay for In-Home Supportive Services employees.
Republican lawmakers also called for a spending cap measure to be placed on the November ballot (California Healthline, 4/2).
Brown Says Signatures Collected for Tax Hike Plan
Meanwhile, Brown on Thursday said that supporters of his tax hike plan have gathered enough signatures to qualify it for the November ballot. Supporters sought to collect more than 800,000 valid voter signatures for the initiative by early this month (Siders, "Capitol Alert," Sacramento Bee, 5/3).