Jerry Brown unveils tax plan via Twitter
In an open letter to Californians, Gov. Jerry Brown unveiled what he described as a "straightforward and fair" tax initiative Monday, asking voters to raise levies on the wealthy and increase the state sales tax by half a cent to help restore California's fiscal stability.
In the missive, posted on Twitter, Brown said he would be filing the ballot measure with the attorney general's office Monday so he can gather the signatures needed to place it on the November 2012 ballot. The measure would generate nearly $7 billion in new revenue -- monies that would be dedicated to education and public safety, he said.
"The stark truth is that without new revenues, we will have no other choice but to make deeper and more damaging cuts to schools, universities, public safety and our courts," Brown wrote.
The initiative would levy temporary, five-year tax hikes of up to 2% on high-income earners. The half-cent increase in the state sales tax would also be temporary, he said.
In his letter, Brown singled out Republicans for refusing to provide the necessary votes to place a tax measure on the ballot as part of this year’s budget negotiations.
"I am going directly to the voters because I don't want to get bogged down in partisan gridlock as happened this year," Brown wrote. "The stakes are too high."
--Michael J. Mishak in Sacramento
Photo: Gov. Jerry Brown. Credit: Reed Saxon / Associated Press