Jerry Brown confident he will meet deadline on new tax proposal

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Gov. Jerry Brown is no longer collecting signatures for his original tax hike ballot proposal, confident that a compromise unveiled late last month will get enough signatures to meet a tight deadline to be placed on the November ballot, his top political advisor announced Wednesday.

Brown late last month cut an eleventh-hour deal with liberals and a teachers union that wanted him to sock the wealthy harder in his proposed combination hike of the sales tax and levies on high earners. The governor tweaked his measure and launched a frenzy of signature-gathering to submit petitions during the first half of May to place the measure on the November ballot.


As a precaution, Brown continued to gather signatures on his old measure, in case it was impossible to qualify the new one in such a tight time span. But on Wednesday his political advisor, Steve Glazer, took to Twitter to announce that the original measure was now truly being shelved.

‘We’ve suspended gathering sigs on original tax initiative -- confident in the progress in qualifying the new measure 4 the Nov ballot,’ Glazer tweeted.

A handful of skeptics had wondered whether Brown would pull a bait-and-switch on the left, fail to collect adequate signatures and reinstate his original plan. The governor’s labor allies have been frantically gathering signatures during the past two weeks. In an unusual move, the governor put pdfs of the petitions on his campaign website so voters can print them out, sign them and mail them in themselves.

Brown’s compromise with liberals removed a competing tax on millionaires from the ballot -- that group has also stopped its signature-gathering. The governor will likely have to contend with one additional tax proposal in November from civil rights attorney Molly Munger, who seeks to raise income taxes to provide $12 billion for k-12 schools and early childhood education.

Brown’s latest proposal would raise about $6 billion each year by hiking the sales tax by a quarter cent and income taxes on people earning more than $250,000 annually.


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-Nicholas Riccardi