California governor launches tax ballot measure
With California once again running short on revenue, Governor Jerry Brown said on Monday he would circumvent the legislature and press a statewide ballot measure to raise the state’s sales tax and increase tax rates on the wealthy for five years.
Revenue from the increases will be needed to prevent deeper cuts in spending by the government of the most populous U.S. state, Brown said in an open letter to Californians made available through his Twitter account.
Like most other states, California has suffered sagging revenue in recent years due to recession and the effects on its economy from the housing collapse, mortgage crisis and volatile financial markets.
“The stark truth is that without new tax revenues, we will have no other choice but to make deeper and more damaging cuts to schools, universities, public safety and our courts,” Brown said.
“That is why I am filing today an initiative with the Attorney General’s office that would generate nearly $7 billion in dedicated funding to protect education and public safety,” Brown said. “I am going directly to the voters because I don’t want to get bogged down in partisan gridlock as happened this year. The stakes are too high.”