Will Californians vote for higher taxes to close budget deficit?
California's state budget faces an estimated $28 billion budget deficit. According to Brown, the "day of reckoning" has arrived, and voters will have to make a choice between imposing higher taxes on themselves, and reducing state spending.
Reporter Steve Harmon says that getting a tax increase proposition on the ballot will be a challenge: "How Brown brings a tax vote to the people is a tangled question filled with unlimited traps and complications, starting with the need to bring Republicans and Democrats together, stave off revolts from his own allies who will feel a lot of pain as his plans emerge, and persuade a skeptical public."
Ryan Emenaker, an assistant professor of political science at College of the Redwoods, made some predictions about what a tax increase request might look like. He believes that voters are more likely to vote in favor of tax hikes that don't increase their taxes, but do increase someone else's taxes. With that in mind, possible tax increase proposals would be for an oil excise tax or corporate tax increases, as opposed to a sales tax increase or a state income tax increase. Emenaker also said that politically, it might be wise to put multiple tax proposals on the 2011 ballot, so that voters could "take out their anger on something" by voting no on some propositions, while also approving some.
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- MSNBC, "Report: Brown may put Calif. budget on the ballot", December 9, 2010
- Los Angeles Times, "Brown may ask voters to rip off budget 'Band-Aid'", December 8, 2010
- Contra Costa Times, "Path to California taxes is long and circuitous", December 19, 2010
- Eureka Times Standard, "Very tough choices", December 12, 2010