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Republican report says there's no need for Brown's tax hikes

January 12, 2012 |  5:41 pm

Bob HuffRepublican state senators say Gov. Jerry Brown is overstating the need for new tax hikes, according to an internal analysis.

The 61-page report, which examines Brown’s proposals from a Republican perspective, said state tax revenues will bounce back without the temporary taxes the governor wants.

Brown wants voters to approve a half-cent increase in the sales tax and higher levies on wealthy residents at the ballot box this November. Without the taxes, he says, the state will cut $5.4 billion in spending, mostly from public schools.

But Republicans, who have opposed all of Brown’s efforts to raise taxes, are digging in against the governor’s proposal.

“Revenues are already growing by nearly 6% this year without increasing taxes, and are expected to grow even more rapidly in the near future,” the report said. “It is irresponsible to push for an unnecessary tax increase, and even more reckless to use schoolchildren as hostages by making education the target for his trigger cuts if voters do not approve his tax increase initiative.”

By aiming almost all of his proposed trigger cuts at schools, the report charges that the governor is “making schoolchildren a lower priority than every other state expenditure, including state employee salaries, welfare programs for drug felons, Taiko drumming within the Department of Mental Health, sex change drugs for prison inmates, etc.”

Republicans have said Brown is using the schools as a political bargaining chip to whip up support for tax hikes. But the governor, when unveiling his budget last week, said simply that schools would need to be cut because “that’s where the money is.”

Gil Duran, a spokesman for the governor, said the issue is "simple math."

"Education is the major portion of the budget," he said. "When cuts get made, education is one of the public services that must be cut."

He said more cuts to schools could have been avoided if Republicans had allowed residents to vote on tax hikes last June.

Photo: Senate Republican leader Bob Huff (R-Diamond Bar)   Credit: Associated Press


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-- Chris Megerian in Sacramento