As far as we’re concerned Proposition 30, Gov. Jerry Brown’s tax hike, is just another way to shoot this state’s economy and put it out of its misery once and for all.
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We found it interesting, listening to former Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger being interviewed for his new book that he hated having to raise taxes, but was faced with a $40 billion deficit. He noted that Governors Wilson, Deukmejian and Reagan all had to raise taxes to cover deficits. Only Davis had a surplus as capital gains rolled in and he and the Legislature spent it like drunken sailors. He, of course, not only left Schwarzenegger with a gaping budget deficit but saddled the rest of us with high-priced electrical power contracts.
But we digress. The latest indignity to the taxpayers is the double whammy of Schwarzenegger’s global warming cap-and-trade legislation that is driving business out of this state and Gov. Brown’s proposed Prop. 30 tax hike.
California’s personal income tax rate progresses from 1 percent to 8 percent for a couple making up to $96,000. After that it rises to 9.3 percent for all other income brackets. Prop 30 would raise the top three brackets for seven years. And don’t believe for a moment that the legislators won’t get the seven-year itch to extend them further.
The Brown brackets start with10.3 percent for individuals making $250,000-$300,000 and couples making $500,000-$600,000. Then it is 11.3 percent for individuals making $300,000-$500,000 and couples making $600,000-$1 million. The top proposed rate is 12.3 percent for individuals making more than 500 grand and couples making more than $1 million.
But, wait, there’s more. In case any of the aforementioned happened to be business owners, the governor wants to be sure they have fewer customers because he wants to add a quarter cent to the sales tax for four years.
The income taxes will cause doctors to think about relocating to another state. It will cause business owners to shift out of state. The sales tax will damage retail businesses. And it won’t rake in anywhere near the $6 billion Brown thinks it will.
Brown promises to cut the $6 billion if his measure doesn’t pass. Promises, promises is all we get. Most of it, he claims will come from schools. We question whether he will want to run for reelection as the governor who cut $5 billion-$6 billion from schools out of pure orneriness. He would go down in history as the governor who was an old curmudgeon.
The Mountain Democrat recommends voting no on Proposition 30.