On Thursday, federal and state lawmakers asked campaigns supporting rival November ballot tax hike plans Proposition 30 and Proposition 38 to stop criticizing each other, the Sacramento Bee's "Capitol Alert" reports (Yamamura, "Capitol Alert," Sacramento Bee, 8/16).
Details of Tax Hike Plans
Prop. 30 -- developed by Gov. Jerry Brown (D) 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.
Prop. 38 -- by attorney Molly Munger -- aims to raise income tax for all residents, with highest earners seeing the largest hike.
Most of the revenue would support education programs (California Healthline, 8/14).
Details of Letter
The lawmakers sent a letter to the California PTA, a member of the Prop. 38 campaign.
The letter's signatories include:
- U.S. Sen. Barbara Boxer (D-Calif.);
- U.S. Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.);
- Senate President Pro Tempore Darrell Steinberg (D-Sacramento); and
- Assembly Speaker John Pérez (D-Los Angeles).
In the letter, the lawmakers said that the Prop. 38 campaign has "become increasingly negative" and has "engaged in personal attacks against [Brown] and Prop. 30."
The lawmakers called on both campaigns to "refrain from directly attacking or referring to" one another. The letter added, "We have spoken with [Brown], and he will strongly support this."
When asked about the letter, Brown said the lawmakers' request is an "excellent" idea and "a good step."
Prop. 38 Campaign Responds
On Thursday, the Prop. 38 campaign declined the lawmakers' request.
Nathan Ballard -- spokesperson for the campaign -- said that campaign officials will "continue to campaign vigorously for Proposition 38." He added that the campaign will make points "in a variety of civil, respectful ways" ("Capitol Alert," Sacramento Bee, 8/16).
Poll Says Voter Support for Tax Hike Plans Increasing
In related news, an August poll by the California Business Roundtable and Pepperdine University found that 45% of voters said they approve of Prop. 38, an increase from 35% in July.
Chris Condon -- research director of the poll -- said the increase in support for Prop. 38 could be attributed to voters being able to see the ballot initiatives' summaries during the second poll. In the first poll, respondents only could see the ballot initiatives’ labels.
In addition, the new poll found that voter support for Prop. 30 has increased slightly, from 56% in July to 57% in August (Quinton, "KXJZ News," Capital Public Radio, 8/16).