The Field Poll today released results of asking California voters about the three tax initiatives (pdf) that will appears on the State’s November general election ballot.
That there will be three different proposals to increase taxes on the November ballot screams out a huge failure on the part of the California state legislature and California Governor Jerry Brown to manage the State’s finances prudently.
That the California state legislature is considering funding high-speed rail in the face of the State’s budget mess is farcically stupid. The Field Poll shows that 56% of voters now disapprove of funding high-speed rail — and that approval of funding for high-speed rail would lower approval of Governor Brown’s tax proposal.
According to that Field Poll report:
Politicians are holding public school funding hostage to convince voters to approve at least on of the tax increases.
The report states that Governor Brown’s proposal receives the highest level of support.
The report describes the three competing tax initiatives in this manner:
The Munger tax initiative would permanently increase personal income taxes to a broader range of taxpayers on a sliding scale, with lower income residents paying less and wealthier residents more. It allocates most of its revenues to the k-12 schools and early childhood development programs, but also devotes some moneys to paying off the state debt in its first four years.
Steyer’s tax increase proposal seeks to extract more revenues from multi-state businesses operating in California. It would require such businesses to calculate their income tax liability based on their percentage of sales in the state and repeals existing laws giving them more favorable tax treatment. Additional revenues would go towards funding projects that promote clean energy and energy efficiency employment in the state.
I will bet a hundred bucks that if the Governor’s proposal is approved, the so-called temporary hikes to state income tax and sales tax will not sunset. If the State’s economy does manage to right itself inside of seven years, the State legislature will find a way to overspend its budget and call for making those hikes permanent.