In a letter to the public, to the Town Crier and a Twitter post, California Gov. Jerry Brown announced his plan to raise $7 billion in additional tax revenue. The funds will be dedicated to public education and public safety, according to Monday’s letter.
Brown’s income tax changes target the high end of incomes. He assured constituents that “No family making less than $500,000 a year will see their income taxes rise. In fact, fewer than 2 percent of California taxpayers will be affected by this increase.”
In addition, Brown recommends a half-cent increase in the state sales tax.
The November 2012 ballot will be crowded with five separate initiatives proposing to increases taxes for several state programs, but especially education. The amount of the additional taxes ranges from $6 billion to more than $13 billion.
“Schools have been hurt and state funding for our universities has been reduced by 25 percent. Support for the elderly and the disabled has fallen to where it was in 1983. Our courts suffered debilitating reductions,” Brown wrote.
State Sen. Bill Emmerson (R-San Jacinto) was not convinced of the merits of Brown’s proposal absent other necessary changes, such as public employment retirement.
“With our economy still in recovery, Californians can’t afford the burden of higher taxes. Without enacting key reforms, raising taxes as proposed in the Governor’s tax initiative will not create jobs and solve our structural budget problems,” Emmerson said.
“The stark truth is that without new tax revenues, we will have no other choice but to make deeper and more damaging cuts to schools, universities, public safety and our courts,” Brown said justifying the proposal which was submitted to the Attorney General’s office.
In conclusion, Brown wrote, “This initiative will not solve all of our fiscal problems. But it will stop further cuts to education and public safety.”