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What they’re saying about Jerry Brown’s tax plan

Gov. Jerry Brown today issued an open letter to Californians announcing, as expected, that he’s filing a proposed ballot measure to hike income taxes on those making more than $500,000 a year and temporarily boost the state sales tax by half a cent to prevent devastating budget cuts in education and public safety.

From state Senate President Pro Tem Darrell Steinberg, D-Sacramento:

“Californians realize that four years of draconian cuts have swung the pendulum too far. We’ve done enough damage, and enough is enough. It’s time to stop the bleeding and begin reinvesting in public education and local public safety. The Governor’s plan dedicates new revenue where it’s most needed – guaranteed to go directly into our public school and community college classrooms. At the same time, it protects ongoing funding for local public safety programs. The temporary taxes also create a more equitable system, with everyone paying a little more in sales tax while the wealthiest among us pay their fair share at a time when they enjoy record income growth. Bringing more balance to the support of essential services will begin to restore the greatness of our state.”

From state Senate Republican Leader Bob Dutton, R-Rancho Cucamonga:

“Clearly the governor has put tax hikes ahead of job creation. Californians have consistently voted down tax-only proposals. Senate Republicans continue a call to action on reforms first. Only with reforms can we put Californians back to work and restore the people’s confidence in state government.”

From Assembly Speaker John Perez, D-Los Angeles:

“The Governor’s revenue plan is fair, focused and forward-thinking. The plan asks the wealthiest among us to pay their fair share and takes us another major step forward on getting control of our long-term finances. More importantly, this plan helps minimize the need for cuts to higher education and other critical services and ensures that California is making the kinds of investments in education and public safety that will keep our communities safe and help our economic prosperity in the long term. I believe this is a plan that every Californian can and will support, and I look forward to working with the Governor and my colleagues in the Legislature to win approval from the voters.”

From Assembly Republican Leader Connie Conway, R-Tulare:

“Governor Brown is once again relying on his failed budget playbook in proposing a massive $35 billion tax increase on hard-working Californians and job creators. Voters rejected similar tax increases in the past and have shown a strong reluctance in polls to accepting higher taxes to bailout Sacramento. Ironically, Sacramento Democrats are again proposing higher taxes at a time when Washington Democrats are suggesting a tax increase on families could plunge the country back into recession.

“Despite their rhetoric, it is clear that our state’s projected $13 billion budget shortfall is not the result of a lack of revenue, but rather that Democrats want to grow government spending by $10 billion next year. The majority party’s budget priorities are clear – sock working families with a painful tax increase to pay for more health and welfare spending and unsustainable public employee pensions, while education continues to take a massive hit. Assembly Republicans will again stand united as the last line of defense for taxpayers and will fight these reckless taxes every step of the way.”

Read more after the jump…

From California Republican Party Chairman Tom Del Beccaro:

“For more than a decade, Sacramento Democrats have been coming up with one tax raising scheme or another – none of which have worked. The answer to our budget and revenue problems lies not in taking more money from those already working but in finding work for those that are not.

“The fact that Governor Brown refused to present his tax hike to the press today demonstrates that he knows it is an unworthy proposal. Rather than simply sending Californians invoices for his spending sprees, he should go about reducing the size of the California government.”

From Assemblywoman Nancy Skinner, D-Berkeley:

“Our schools and universities are fundamental to California’s status as the seventh largest economy in the world. The Governor’s proposal provides the reinvestment our education system deserves, while spreading the cost in an equitable manner. As the author of AB 1130, which would restore the income tax rate on super-rich Californians to what it was under Governor Ronald Reagan, I applaud Governor Brown’s fair-share approach. After the deep and painful cuts schools, public safety and other services already experienced these past few years, I look forward to working with Governor Brown to bring balance back to California.”

From state Sen. Leland Yee, D-San Francisco:

“For too long, the state budget has been unfairly passed on the backs of our kids and the most vulnerable. I commend the Governor for putting forth a tax proposal that will finally ensure the wealthiest among us contribute their fair share. I have been! consistently opposed to cuts to public education, as they hurt our schools, increase class sizes, and result in teacher layoffs. Enough is enough. Our students deserve better; our teachers deserve better; and our state deserves better. Governor Brown’s proposal, as well as an oil severance tax and accountability on corporate tax breaks, can bring equity to our budget and improve our economy.”

Josh Richman

Josh Richman covers state and national politics for the Bay Area News Group. A New York City native, he earned a bachelor’s degree in journalism from the University of Missouri and reported for the Express-Times of Easton, Pa. for five years before coming to the Oakland Tribune and ANG Newspapers in 1997. He is a frequent guest on KQED Channel 9’s “This Week in Northern California;” a proud father; an Eagle Scout; a somewhat skilled player of low-stakes poker; a rather good cook; a firm believer in the use of semicolons; and an unabashed political junkie who will never, EVER seek elected office.