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Voters favor two of three California tax proposals, poll finds

February 24, 2012 | 11:36 am

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A strong majority of voters backs Gov. Jerry Brown's proposed tax hike, as well as a rival one on millionaires that is also heading to the November ballot, but oppose a third one that would raise $10 billion for public schools, according to a new poll.

The Field Poll showed the strongest backing for the tax hike on millionaires, with 63% of voters saying they were inclined to vote yes. Next came Brown's proposal, a temporary half-cent sales tax increase combined with higher income taxes on the wealthy, which drew 58% support.

But voters appear to reject a broad-based income tax hike proposed by wealthy Los Angeles civil rights lawyer Molly Munger, which received only 45% support, with 48% opposed. All three initiatives are in the signature-gathering phase before they can be placed on the November ballot.

The results roughly parallel a poll that Brown's political aides released in summary form this week. That showed Brown's proposal and the proposed levy on millionaires both with more than 50% support, while Munger's languished. Brown's aides also tested whether voters would support the taxes if all three appeared on the ballot and found in that scenario none would pass.

That's been the argument the governor and his aides have been pushing for three months now -- that Munger and the unions and activists who back the millionaire's tax need to drop their measures so they don't doom all of them.

But backers of the millionaire's tax seemed emboldened by the newest poll that continued to show theirs as the most popular. Nonetheless, the governor's aides and allies continued to urge others to back down.

State Sen. Ted Lieu (D-Torrance) aimed a tweet at Munger: "Multiple polls show your initiative failing. This is not a game. Do not punish my children & California's children."

RELATED:

Tax supporters launch campaign, defy Jerry Brown

Poll: Brown's tax can pass, but not with rivals on ballot

Jerry Brown's tax initiative rivals are refusing to back down

-- Nicholas Riccardi in Sacramento

Photo: Gov. Jerry Brown speaks to California Democrats during the party's convention in San Diego this month. Credit: Gregory Bull / Associated Press

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