Gov. Jerry Brown And Teachers Compromise On Ballot Initiative
California Gov. Jerry Brown and a teachers group has agreed on a compromise tax hike initiative to put on the November ballot.
The ballot initiative -- part of Brown's plan to close the state's over-$9 billion budget gap -- will merge two competing initiatives, one proposed by Brown and the other by the California Federation of Teachers.
“This united effort makes victory more likely and will go a long way toward balancing our budget and protecting our schools, universities and public safety,” said Governor Brown in a statement.
This comes after weeks of concerns that, with two measures competing for signatures and votes, neither would end up passing. Moreover, Brown's proposal, which included a sales tax increase and tax hikes on households making more than $250,000 a year, was losing in the polls to the CFT's "millionaires tax" proposal.
The compromise ballot measure lowers Brown's sales tax from a half-cent increase to a quarter-cent increase. It also adjusts the proposed income tax increases on high-earners.
From Brown's office:
- [The measure a]djusts the top two upper income brackets from a 1.5% increase to a 2% increase for incomes over $600,000 for joint filers and from 2% to 3% for incomes over $1 million for joint filers. (The bracket for incomes over $500,000 for joint filers remains at a 1% increase).
- The income tax increases will be in place for an additional 2 years, through 2018, while the sales tax increase will still sunset after 2016.
Democratic State Senate leader Darrell Steinberg hailed the new measure. “The beauty of this agreement is that it gives us the best chance to resolve the state’s chronic budget deficit," he said in a statement.