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Teachers' union takes tax fight to November ballot

May 12, 2010 |  5:17 pm

Despite claims today from Assembly Republican leader Martin Garrick (R-Solana Beach) that “we are not putting taxes on the table,” the powerful California Teachers Assn. has other ideas. But rather than fight through the budget process, the union is taking its case directly to voters.

 The teachers' union has invested $2 million to collect more than 800,000 signatures to qualify a measure for the November ballot to repeal a trio of corporate tax breaks approved in the last two years during state budget negotiations.

 Only 433,971 valid signatures of registered voters are needed to qualify. The union-led campaign announced turning in the signatures Wednesday, two days before Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger will detail a budget his office is already saying will contain “absolutely terrible cuts.”

“Closing sweetheart tax loopholes for a few multibillion-dollar corporations is the only fair thing to do,” said CTA President David Sanchez.

 The union estimates the business tax breaks will cost the state's general fund roughly $2 billion per year.

 Democrats are expected to try to postpone the start date of the tax breaks, which have yet to go into effect, during the summer budget talks.

 Garrick, surrounded by eight of his fellow Assembly Republicans, said such efforts would be futile with his caucus.

 -- Shane Goldmacher in Sacramento