Column: Bullet train could shoot down Brown’s tax initiative

The bullet train won’t be on the November ballot, but it will be on many Californians’ minds as they decide the fate of Gov. Jerry Brown’s tax proposal.

That’s what I keep hearing from e-mailers such as Fred: “Many voters will not support Jerry’s tax plan so long as his budget includes monies for high speed rail.”

And Bob: “Every time Jerry Brown mentions the bullet train, the two November tax increase measures lose votes. More and more voters just don’t want to give the state any more money.”

The second tax measure is civil rights attorney Molly Munger’s. It would raise income taxes on all but the poorest people and generate roughly $11 billion annually, mostly for schools.


Brown’s “soak the rich” initiative would raise income taxes substantially on the wealthy and sales taxes minimally on everyone. That would generate $8.5 billion for the current budget year and $6.3 billion annually thereafter. The goal is to avoid deep cuts in education funding and to permanently balance the budget.

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George Skelton/Capitol Journal, Los Angeles Times