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Jerry Brown tries new line of attack against rival tax measures

March 7, 2012 | 12:28 pm

Backers of Gov. Jerry Brown's measure to raise upper-income and sales taxes have found a new line of attack against rival tax-initiative proposals: Those other measures, they say, do nothing to help the state's $9.2-billion deficit.Backers of Gov. Jerry Brown's measure to raise upper-income and sales taxes have found a new line of attack against rival tax-initiative proposals: Those other measures, they say, do nothing to help the state's $9.2-billion deficit.

Supporters of Brown's measure, including the heads of the California Medical Assn. and the California State Assn. of Counties, held a conference call with reporters Tuesday, criticizing a proposal backed by the California Federation of Teachers that would only raise levies on incomes of more than $1 million and earmark that money for schools and local governments.

One of those on the call, Jean Ross of the California Budget Project, said the federation's measure would "break trust with voters" who would believe they were voting for a tax measure to fix the state's budget problems but would actually, in Ross' estimation, leave the state billions of dollars in the hole.

Later that day, Brown used the same critique of the other measures in a meeting with the San Francisco Chronicle editorial board. 

"It's not good for schools, it's not good for public safety and it's not good for public confidence, because we go through all this and end up exactly in the mess where we started," Brown said. "People will be angry because they voted for this and nothing happened."

Backers of the "millionaire's tax" responded via Twitter than Brown's proposed budget would slash state services by more than $2 billion, even if his tax measure passes. If it fails, Brown wants to cut funding to public schools by nearly $5 billion.

Brown has said he wants backers of the federation's measure and another proposed income tax hike to fund public schools to drop their plans for the November ballot so that his would be the only tax measure before voters this fall.

Thus far, Brown has been unsuccessful in his efforts to persuade those other initiative proponents to stand down.

RELATED:

Tax initiative has broad support, poll finds

Jerry Brown steps up efforts to squelch tax-hike proposals

Jerry Brown's tax can pass, but not with rivals on the ballot

-- Anthony York in Sacramento

Photo: Gov. Jerry Brown. Credit: Associated Press

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