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Mar 08 2012

Poll Watch: California Governor Jerry Brown’s Tax Increase Proposal in Trouble

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California Governor Jerry Brown addressing the California Democratic Party in San Diego last month

Jerry Brown’s tax increase measure for the November ballot is not polling well.

Even though most Californians think the budget remains a big problem, just a slim majority of likely voters say they support Gov. Jerry Brown’s proposed tax initiative for the November ballot, according to a survey released Wednesday by the Public Policy Institute of California.

Using the Democratic governor’s ballot title and summary for the first time, the poll found 52 percent of likely voters support temporarily raising the state sales tax and income tax on high-wage earners while 40 percent oppose doing so. Another 8 percent said they are undecided. That’s a drop from past surveys, which found majority support for his plan to temporarily raise taxes. PPIC found Brown’s proposal had 68 percent support in January, before the ballot language was finished.

Brown estimated that California faces a $9.2 billion deficit in the 2012-2013 fiscal year, which begins July 1, and has called for closing that shortfall with a near equal balance of spending cuts and the temporary tax increases he wants voters to approve in November. Most of the additional revenue from his tax initiative would go to K-12 education.

“A slim majority support Gov. Brown’s proposed tax initiative,” said Mark Baldassare, president and CEO of the Public Policy Institute. “Of those who plan to vote against it, most also say that their local governments have been affected a lot by recent state budget cuts and they would prefer to deal with the gap mainly through spending cuts.”

As I have said before, many of my friends in the Democratic stronghold of Los Angeles County feel the State of California must manage their tax money better and are leery of ANY tax increases. They say that all POLS claim an increase in taxes is temporary and then never repealed.

Also, the California economy is not well and people simply just don’t have the money to be spent on prisons and social welfare programs.

In many ways, California taxpayers are tired of being lied to and are tapped out. There is tax increase fatigue.

Brown’s measure may eek out a small victory in November, but with President Obama easily winning the popular vote some likely voters for this measure may never make it to the polls to vote.

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