Schwarzenegger's stand on taxes is crucial to his effort to maintain his standing among conservatives, his biggest bloc of supporters. His campaign's focus on taxes is also aimed at the moderates who swing California elections, and fits the long-standing Republican pattern of attacking Democrats by tapping public opposition to tax increases.
For Angelides, the proposal to cut taxes could carry benefits beyond fending off Schwarzenegger's attacks, said Gary Jacobson, a professor of political science at UC San Diego.
"It's a fairly risky move to make, but he has to do something bold just to get attention," Jacobson said.
In the general election contest, Angelides has struggled to gain his footing. Polls last month found Schwarzenegger well ahead.
The Democrat has been slow to raise the money he will need for extensive television advertising after Labor Day. And he has been fighting efforts by Schwarzenegger's campaign to cement an impression among political insiders that Angelides is bound to lose.
Angelides plans to promote his tax-cut proposal today in San Bernardino, Riverside and Anaheim.
"We're on the offensive now," the candidate told a Burbank supporter, Gerry Aho, after the speech in Hollywood.
Later in San Francisco, U.S. Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.) joined Angelides for a rerun of the speech before another union crowd.
Times staff writer Robert Salladay contributed to this report.
Annual tax cuts:
$788 million: Income tax cuts for families earning up to $100,000*
$526 million: Small-business tax cut
$88 million: Property tax relief and rent subsidies for low-income elderly and disabled
Annual tax increases:
$3.1 billion: Income tax increase for individuals with more than $250,000 in taxable income and couples with more than $500,000 in taxable income**
$2 billion: Corporate tax "loopholes" to be closed upon recommendation of a commission
* These cuts would come in two forms. First, an earned-income tax credit of up to $660 would go to working families making up to $46,000 a year. Second, the state's dependent credit for income taxes would rise from $283 to $483 for taxpayers earning up to $100,000 a year, cutting taxes for 1.5 million families.
** Tax increase would expire after three years.
Angelides gubernatorial campaign