Jerry Brown aide pushing separate tax measure for November
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Gov. Jerry Brown has urged other tax proponents to resist asking voters for more money this fall in hopes of pushing through his own proposal to raise levies on state sales and upper incomes.
Brown was instrumental in convincing the Los Angeles Unified School District to drop a parcel tax proposal for the November ballot, and convinced backers of the so-called millionaires’ tax to drop their plan and join forces with the governor.
But Brown’s clout apparently doesn’t stretch to Orinda, where the City Council voted unanimously to ask voters to raise local sales taxes to help raise money for road improvements. One of those voting for the proposal was Orinda’s mayor, Steve Glazer, who managed Brown’s 2010 election campaign and moonlights as the governor’s top fundraiser.
Glazer dismissed any notion that the local half-cent measure would compete with the governor’s in any way. “When the Orinda and the governor’s tax measures pass, the sales tax will still be below where it was just a few years ago,” Glazer said.
Despite being among the wealthiest communities in the East Bay, roads in Orinda consistently rank near the bottom in regional studies. The most recent Pavement Condition Index from the Metropolitan Transportation Commission ranked the city’s roads as “poor.” City voters narrowly rejected a bond measure to pay for road improvements in 2007.
As city budgets continue to feel the pinch from tough budget times, dozens of local taxes are being proposed for the fall. Among them is a half-cent sales tax increase in Sacramento that was placed on the ballot despite objections from Senate leader Darrell Steinberg (D-Sacramento).
-- Anthony York in Sacramento