Jerry Brown Tax Plan: Anti-Tax Groups Counter Governor's Measure

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By JUDY LIN, Associated Press

SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) — Just a day after California Gov. Jerry Brown released his tax initiative proposal, anti-tax advocates announced Tuesday they have filed their own counter measure seeking to restrain government spending.

The California Taxpayers Association, Howard Jarvis Taxpayers Association and Small Business Action Committee said they filed a proposed ballot measure with the state attorney general's office that would limit spending after the state makes a full recovery from the recession.

"We need a mechanism to make sure that the drunken sailor DNA of our Legislature doesn't kick in, and that we put that money away and we use it for debt reduction," said John Coupal, president of the Howard Jarvis group.

The measure is just one of many complications Brown faces as he tries to increase taxes on the rich and raise the statewide sales tax.

The Democratic governor and his labor allies want to ask voters to restore billions of dollars lost to public schools, universities and public safety. His proposed initiative, filed Monday, would temporarily increase taxes on the wealthy, starting with individuals who make more than $250,000, and raise the statewide sales tax by half a cent, to 7.75 percent. The proposal would raise about $7 billion a year for five years.

Republicans and conservatives want to impose a spending cap that uses excess money to pay down debt.

The competing measures could offer a stark choice for California voters next year.

Brown is echoing the sentiments of the Occupy Wall Street movement to tax the rich, but organizers of the protests have criticized the governor's plan, saying it would hurt students and working Californians who would also have to pay higher sales taxes.

Brown also could face several competing tax initiatives from groups that want to raise taxes even higher.

Brown was in Hollywood on Tuesday to help Universal Studios announce plans to build a new Harry Potter attraction that officials say will create more than 1,000 jobs. His press office did not immediately respond to a request for comment Tuesday on the competing ballot measure proposal.

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