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Jerry Brown's tax has narrow backing, poll finds

March 7, 2012 |  9:00 pm

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Gov. Jerry Brown's proposed tax hike is favored by a slim majority of California voters, according to a new poll released Wednesday night.

The survey by the Public Policy Institute of California found that 52% of likely voters back the temporary combination of a half-cent sales tax hike and higher levies on wealthy earners. Forty percent oppose it, while 8% are undecided.

That's far below the 68% support that a PPIC poll found in January. But the more recent survey is the first in which pollsters could describe the proposal with language that voters will see on the November ballot. That appears to have significantly reduced support.

Brown's supporters are collecting signatures to place the levy on the November ballot.

A strong 67% of voters said they back Proposition 29, a proposed $1-a-pack cigarette tax that is on the June ballot. The revenue would go to fund cancer research. Sixty-eight percent of voters support Proposition 28, which would lower by two years the amount of time state lawmakers can spend in office, but allow them to remain in either the Assembly or state Senate the entire time.

And 53% of voters now oppose California's high-speed rail project, while 56% approve legalizing gay marriage.

The poll of 2,001 California residents had a margin of error of 3.4%.

RELATED:

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Brown's tax can pass, but not with others on ballot

-- Nicholas Riccardi in Sacramento

Photo: Gov. Jerry Brown in Fresno. Photo Credit: Eric Paul Zamora/The Fresno Bee

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