By Dan Walters
Published: Friday, Dec. 2, 2011 – 12:00 am | Page 3A
Those who believe that California should raise taxes – including Gov. Jerry Brown – to close its budget deficit or increase spending may be forming a circular firing squad.
Four major tax measures, all with well-heeled support and opposition, appear to be headed for the November 2012 ballot, plus a few lesser tax proposals. Voters could be subjected to weeks of confusing propaganda, and their response could be to reject everything.
The Think Long Committee for California – a group of political and civic figures and financed by billionaire Nicolas Berggruen – wants Californians to approve a sweeping tax overhaul that would extend sales taxes to services, simplify the income tax and generate about $10 billion more year.
Molly Munger – the daughter of Charles Munger, Warren Buffet’s chief business partner – wants a sliding scale increase in income taxes to raise $10 billion a year for K-12 and preschool education.
Hedge fund manager Tom Steyer would indirectly boost taxes on out-of-state corporations doing business in California, by changing the way their taxable incomes are calculated, to boost spending on green energy by $1.1 billion a year.
Finally, Brown and his union allies will soon unveil a temporary sales tax hike and income tax surcharge on the affluent to raise about $7 billion a year to close the state’s chronic budget deficit.
If they all make the ballot, not only will voters be bombarded by their advocates and opponents, but they create intramural rivalries.
To read entire story, click here.