The Californians that Democratic Gov. Jerry Brown is courting for a referendum on taxes are already telling pollsters they’re iffy about the underlying premise: that promised tax cuts must be abandoned. Among likely voters, support for extending taxes that were previously scheduled to lapse has dropped to 46 percent in May, from 54 percent in January, The Wall Street Journal reports.
As the state grapples with a $9.6 billion budget gap, Brown’s plan to put
|California Gov. Jerry Brown
the tax proposal to a public vote has stalled in the California legislature.
More unexpectedly, the state’s revenue outlook has brightened, taking some of the urgency out of Brown’s tax pitch.
"Voters don't quite have a sense of what this [tax plan] is going to produce for them and whether there is some agreement that this is the fiscally responsible way to go," said Mark Baldassare of the Public Policy Institute of California, which has conducted the polling.
One key deadline has all but passed: Brown had hoped to hold the statewide tax vote in a special election month, but he’s now resigned to having voters wait until after the legislature acts.
Another deadline looms: If Brown and the legislature don’t complete a spending deal by Wednesday for the fiscal year beginning July 1, lawmakers must forfeit their pay under a new rule designed to prevent gridlock in budget negotiations.
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