On politics in the Golden State

Category: taxes

Voters approve Brown's tax measure, Proposition 30, AP says

FULL RESULTS: California races

California voters have approved Gov. Jerry Brown’s measure to temporarily increase the state sales tax by a quarter-cent and income taxes on the wealthy by 1% to 3%, according to the Associated Press.

Brown had warned that if voters rejected the measure, billions of dollars would be cut from public education.

The reductions were written into the budget the governor signed over the summer, scheduled to take effect if Proposition 30 failed.

FULL RESULTS: California races

During the campaign, Brown faced opposition from the left and the right.

On the left, millionaire civil rights attorney Molly Munger pushed her own tax-hike measure, Proposition 38, and criticized the governor’s plan. Her proposition was rejected by California voters.

Meanwhile, anti-tax activists and wealthy conservative donors said the state government could not be trusted with more tax money.


Munger’s Proposition 38 fails, according to AP

Prop. 40, on state Senate districts, passes, per AP

Proposition 36 on three strikes law passes, AP says

-- Chris Megerian in Sacramento


Photo: Gov. Jerry Brown thanks supporters for their work on his temporary tax-hike initiative, Proposition 30, during an election night party in Sacramento. Credit: Rich Pedroncelli / Associated Press

Voters pass Proposition 39 on corporate taxes, AP says

Proposition 39, a measure to change California’s corporate income tax code, has passed, the Associated Press said.

Bay Area investor Tom Steyer placed the measure on the ballot to raise $1 billion annually for the state, with the money to be split between the general fund and a new $500-million program to promote green buildings.

Steyer spent more than $28 million on the effort, paying for almost the entire campaign himself.

He designed the measure to force a uniform tax formula on all companies doing business in California, eliminating a choice of formulas that allows out-of-state firms to pay less than in-state businesses. 

Opponents said businesses cannot afford such a tax increase. They also raised questions about the green buildings program, suggesting it would become a boondoggle.

But the companies threatened with multimillion-dollar tax increases under Proposition 39 -- including Kimberly Clark, General Motors, Procter and Gamble and International Paper -- opted not to fight Steyer. There was no significant opposition campaign.

-- Evan Halper in Sacramento

Clock is ticking for Gov. Brown's Prop. 30 [Google+ hangout]

Times reporter Chris Megerian will join city editor Shelby Grad at 1 p.m. for a Google+ hangout on Gov. Jerry Brown's tax initiative, Proposition 30.

A recent poll showed slipping support for the proposition, and the governor still has not settled on a central sales pitch for his tax-hike initiative, even though election day is fast approaching.

Republican leaders in the California Legislature are already planning their next steps if voters reject the measure next week.

VOTER GUIDE: 2012 California Propositions

From Times reporters Michael J. Mishak and Anthony York's weekend story on Brown's message behind Prop. 30:

On the stump, Brown emphasizes that most of the tax increases will affect only the wealthiest Californians. The campaign ads make little mention of that.

The mixed messages underscore the Democratic governor's struggle to persuade skeptical taxpayers to open their wallets and provide fodder for a well-financed opposition to plant doubt among voters. A recent USC Dornsife/Los Angeles Times poll showed support for the proposal slipping below 50% for the first time.

The shifting "creates uncertainty and makes voters head in the 'no' direction," said John Matsusaka, president of the Initiative & Referendum Institute at USC.

Californians have not approved a statewide tax increase since 2004, when they voted for a levy on those making more than $1 million to pay for expanded county mental health programs.

Brown has acknowledged the difficulty of selling new levies to voters, saying his campaign made a strategic decision not to mention the word "taxes" in its ads.


Authorities racing the clock to identify Arizona donors

If taxes fail, Republicans say they can help avoid cuts to schools

Proposition 30's backers and critics rally supporters in final week

Proposition 30's backers and critics rally supporters in final week

With polls showing California voters could go either way on Proposition 30, the campaigns for and against the measure are sending powerful surrogates to rally for their respective causes Tuesday. 

Rep. Kevin McCarthy (R-Bakersfield) will join business and tax-fighter groups at a Bakersfield rally against the measure. 

Meanwhile, Gov. Jerry Brown, the architect of the temporary sales and upper-income tax increase, will rally students at Cal State Los Angeles. 

Brown continues to make younger voters a primary target for his campaign in the closing days. He spoke to students at UC Santa Cruz on Friday and held a rally on the campus of Cal State Chico on Monday. 

Brown will be campaigning in Southern California on Tuesday and Wednesday. He will give a speech to the Commonwealth Club in San Francisco on Thursday before returning to Los Angeles this weekend. 


Independent PACs top $17 million on California legislative races

Can Gov. Jerry Brown turn Arizona controversy into votes for tax plan?

Gov. Jerry Brown has yet to pick a central Prop. 30 sales pitch

— Anthony York in Sacramento

Photo: Gov. Jerry Brown speaks about Proposition 30 at L.A.'s Grand Central Market. Credit: Gina Ferazzi / Los Angeles Times.

Gov. Brown's Prop. 30 losing support, poll shows [Google+ Hangout]

Times reporter Chris Megerian will join city editor Shelby Grad at 10:30 a.m. for a Google+ Hangout on plunging support for Proposition 30, according to a new USC Dornsife/Los Angeles Times poll.

Gov. Jerry Brown's proposed measure would temporarily raise taxes on individuals earning more than $250,000 a year and impose a quarter-cent hike in the state sales tax. Brown has warned that billions of dollars will be cut from public schools and universities if Proposition 30 fails.

From an analysis by Megerian and the Times' Anthony York:

Support has plunged for Proposition 30, Gov. Jerry Brown's plan to raise billions of dollars in taxes, a new USC Dornsife/Los Angeles Times poll shows, with less than half of voters planning to cast ballots in favor of the measure.

Only 46% of registered voters now support Brown's initiative, a 9-point drop over the last month, and 42% oppose it. The findings follow a lackluster month of campaigning by the governor, who had spent little time on the stump and found himself fighting off attacks from backers of a separate ballot measure that would raise taxes for schools.

Although Brown recently launched a frantic push for votes, both proposals could fail. Tax measures rarely gain support in the closing days of a campaign.

Proposition 38, which would increase income taxes for most Californians to raise funds primarily for schools and early childhood education, sank 6 points in the poll and continues to lag behind Brown's. Just 28% of voters support Proposition 38, down from 34% in September.


Food labeling initiative draws most mentions on Twitter

Support plunges for Prop. 30, Gov. Jerry Brown's tax initiative

Two young Democrats square off over East L.A. Assembly district

Analyst: Proposition 30 will not affect gasoline prices

Gov. Jerry Brown

Proposition 30, Gov. Jerry Brown’s plan to raise upper income and sales taxes, will not increase levies on gasoline, according to the state’s nonpartisan legislative analyst.

That flies in the face of claims made by opponents of the governor’s measure, who are leveling the charge against the governor’s plan in a new television commercial and repeated the claim in a statement sent to reporters Wednesday.

“Proposition 30 does not appear to us to levy an additional sales and use tax on motor vehicle fuel,” said Jason Sisney, a spokesman for the analyst’s office. “Certainly, it is often the case that one side or the other disagrees with parts of our analysis in an initiative campaign....  But, that is our best take now.”

But, Sisney said, because of the complex ways in which California’s fuel taxes are levied, the measure would increase taxes on diesel fuel. He said that would amount to “a relatively small amount of additional revenue.”

But critics of the plan did not back down. “Prop. 30 will increase the price of gas in California, plain and simple,” said George Runner, a Republican member of the state Board of Equalization.

During a four-city campaign swing Tuesday, Brown lashed out at his opponents, calling their charges about his plan’s influence on fuel taxes “a flat-out lie.” And, he told a group of students in Bakersfield, “If they lie to you about that, you should be suspicious of anything else they tell you.”


Jerry Brown warns of 'Orwellian propaganda'

Armies of election monitors to be deployed in California

Taxes aren't going to make the rich leave California, report says

--Anthony York in Sacramento

 Photo: California Gov. Jerry Brown speaks at a rally in favor of Proposition 30, a tax increase initiative on the November ballot to stave off $6 billion in automatic spending cuts to schools, at Animo Leadership Charter High School in Inglewood. Credit: Nick Ut / Associated Press.

PTA leader urges peace summit between Jerry Brown, Molly Munger


The feud between Gov. Jerry Brown and millionaire lawyer Molly Munger took another twist Thursday night, as one of Munger's closest allies called for a truce between the two sides.

Carol Kocivar, president of the California State PTA, said Brown and Munger should meet sometime next week "to reach agreement on ways to de-escalate the recent situation."

Brown and Munger are each pushing their own tax-hike plans on the November ballot, and their campaigns have flirted with open warfare in recent days. Political observers say the rivalry could drag down both ballot measures and lead to billions of dollars in budget cuts.

Kocivar supports Munger's tax measure, Proposition 38. Her new statement represents her strongest words yet on the feud, which escalated when Munger began running advertisements directly criticizing Brown's tax measure, Proposition 30. 

"We are deeply concerned about the escalation of back-and-forth political maneuvering, personal attacks, and accusations and reactions in the press from both Proposition 30 and 38 proponents about the latest TV ads," Kocivar said. "All of us need to take a step back."

So far, Munger has shown no interest in ratcheting back her rhetoric. During the summer she brushed off suggestions from two Democratic U.S. senators who feared a negative campaign battle.

[Updated 7:50 p.m.: Brown's campaign, which has ramped up its criticisms of Munger's campaign tactics in recent days, dismissed PTA's call for a meeting.

"Why would we meet with her?" said Dan Newman, a spokesman for the campaign. "We're minding our own business, running a positive campaign and not mentioning any other initiative -- while she's spending milions in false attack ads against us."]

[Updated 8:40 p.m.: Munger's campaign, on the other hand, said "Molly would be happy to meet with Governor Brown." However, spokesman Nathan Ballard said Munger would not drop her advertising critical of Proposition 30.

"If the Prop 30 campaign takes down their misleading ads, then we would certainly consider taking down our ad responding to them," he said.]


Molly Munger blasts Jerry Brown's tax plan in new ad

Siblings launch multimillion-dollar attacks on Prop. 30

Prop. 30 campaign takes aim at Molly and Charles Munger

-- Chris Megerian in Sacramento

Photo: Molly Munger talks with reporters about her tax proposal earlier this year. Credit: Rich Pedroncelli / Associated Press

Bill Clinton endorses Jerry Brown's tax-hike plan

Former President Clinton gave Gov. Jerry Brown a hand, firing off a quick endorsement of the governor's tax-hike ballot measure, Proposition 30

Two decades ago, Bill Clinton beat out Jerry Brown in a bruising battle for the Democratic presidential nomination.

On Tuesday, Clinton gave his former rival a helping hand, firing off a quick endorsement of the governor's tax-hike ballot measure, Proposition 30. 

The former president made the comments during a rally for Democratic congressional candidates in Davis. Clinton also urged voters to oppose Proposition 32, which would curb unions' political influence.  

The remarks come at a time of increased tension surrounding Brown's tax initiative. Millionaire lawyer Molly Munger, who is pushing a rival tax measure, released a video Tuesday targeting Proposition 30, raising the possibility of open warfare between the two campaigns. 

Anthony York has the story in Wednesday's Los Angeles Times.

"This is the political equivalent of attempted murder-suicide," said Jason Kinney, who is working with a committee of Democrats fighting Munger's tax measure. "If she can't win, she wants everyone else to lose, including schools."

Proposition 30 would raise the sales tax by a quarter-cent for four years and increase levies on the wealthy for seven years. The governor says that if it doesn't pass, he'll cut nearly $6 billion from the state budget, mostly from public schools.


Molly Munger blasts Jerry Brown's tax plan in new ad

Molly Munger pushes Proposition 38 despite blowback 

Bill Clinton endorses four in tight N. Calif. congressional races

-- Chris Megerian in Sacramento

Photo: Former President Clinton addresses delegates at the Democratic National Convention in Charlotte, N.C. Credit: Michael Reynolds / EPA

Molly Munger blasts Jerry Brown's tax plan in new ad [Updated]

The battle between two rival tax plans on the November ballot escalated Tuesday as Molly Munger and supporters of Proposition 38 used a new campaign ad to take aim at an initiative backed by Gov. Jerry Brown. 

Munger is backing an across-the-board income tax hike to raise money for schools. Brown, meanwhile, is the chief architect of Proposition 30, which would temporarily hike taxes on upper incomes and sales to help patch the state's budget.  

Until now, the two sides had avoided mentioning one another in paid advertising. But that all changed Tuesday with the launch of a new commercial paid for by Munger.

The animated "Yes on 38" ad shows money flowing into a schoolhouse on one end, and back out the other. "Prop. 30 sends money in here, but let's politicians take it out here," the ad states. "That's why Sacramento is behind it. ... Don't be misled by the politicians. To really help our schools, vote yes on 38."

In a statement sent to reporters Tuesday, backers of the governor's initiative targeted Munger and her brother, Charles, who has given more than $22 million to a committee that is opposing Brown's plan.

"The Munger family has doubled down today, spending millions on a destructive campaign that would deny our students the education they deserve. If the Mungers do not reverse course immediately, the Munger name may soon be synonymous with devastating cuts to California's schools and universities," said Lillian Taiz, president of the California Faculty Assn.

[Updated 3:21 p.m.] According to the disclaimer on Molly Munger's ad, it is not funded out of the "Yes on 38" committee, which is backed by the California PTA. Instead, it is paid for by a separate committee sponsored by the Advancement Project, a nonprofit civil rights group for which Molly Munger serves as president.

Neither PTA President Carol Kocivar nor "Yes on 38" spokesman Nathan Ballard were immediately available for comment.


Molly Munger pushes Proposition 38 despite blow-back

Skelton: Proposition 31 unrealistic medicine for California

Proposition 30 campaign takes aim at Molly and Charles Munger

-- Anthony York in Sacramento

Molly Munger pushes Proposition 38 despite blowback

For Gov. Jerry Brown and his high-stakes campaign to raise taxes, Molly Munger has been the problem that just won't go away

For Gov. Jerry Brown and his high-stakes campaign to raise taxes, Molly Munger has been the problem that just won't go away.

First she wouldn't drop her rival tax initiative. Then she brushed aside concerns from top Democrats who feared a costly campaign war.

Now the millionaire lawyer has pumped $31 million into an effort that's less likely to succeed than to undermine Brown's tax campaign. The full story ran in Saturday's Los Angeles Times.

Brown says his initiative, Proposition 30, is the only way to provide enough tax revenue in the current budget to prevent nearly $6 billion in cuts, mostly to public schools.

But that hasn't deterred Munger from pushing Proposition 38, which would raise income taxes on most Californians to increase funding for schools, early childhood education and debt payments.

In an interview, the longtime education activist said Proposition 38 would have more support if the state's political establishment hadn't circled its wagons.

"A lot of people know we're right," she said. "And a lot of people aren't free to say so."


Support slips for Brown's tax hike

Proposition 38 crowds airwaves with second TV ad

Proposition 38 campaign pushes taxes, blasts Sacramento

-- Chris Megerian in Sacramento

Photo: Molly Munger talks with reporters about her tax proposal earlier this year. Credit: Rich Pedroncelli / Associated Press


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