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Brown Files Sales, Income Tax Initiative

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(Sacramento, CA)
Monday, December 5, 2011

Brown's proposal includes a half-cent sales tax increase.  It also includes higher income taxes on Californians who earn at least $250,000 a year or families making at least $500,000.  The taxes would last for five years.

Republican political consultant Rob Stutzman says the governor has probably settled on the tax increases most likely to pass - but Brown's proposal only has half of what voters want.

TAXMAN2A / Stutzman: "Polling suggests that it's a tough bargain for the governor to get taxes passed unless he has a reform measure on the ballot as well.  Having said that, we're 11 months from that election and obviously, things can change in the political environment."

Rather than stage a big public rally, the governor announced his tax proposal on Twitter, then filed the initiative text with the Attorney General's office.


Lawmaker Reactions Come Quickly

Republican Assemblyman Tim Donnelly says the taxes would hurt the most vulnerable Californians when they can least afford it.

Donnelly: "He's gonna sell it as taxing the rich, and that's a very popular theme.  But when was the last time you were hired by a poor man?  The rich are the job creators.  So let's say it the way it is - tax the job creators."

But Democratic Senate Leader Darrell Steinberg says it's time to "stop the bleeding" inflicted on California by recent budgets.

Steinberg: "We are at a point now - and I think more importantly, the people are at a point now - where enough is enough.  Cutting - if we have to do it at all - should be a very last resort."

Many labor unions support the governor's plan, but not all.  A coalition led by the California Federation of Teachers filed its own tax measure Monday.  It would raise the income tax on millionaires and give the money to schools, public safety and infrastructure.

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