Gov. Jerry Brown continues to push higher taxes, this time to LA Chamber of Commerce

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Gov. Jerry Brown plans to take his case for higher taxes to the Los Angeles Area Chamber of Commerce Thursday night.

Brown has proposed raising the sales tax by half a percentage point for four years while also increasing the personal income tax on people who make more than $250,000 annually for five years.

If voters don’t approve his plan, the governor says he’ll be forced to make deep cuts in public education funding.

A statewide poll released Thursday by the nonpartisan Public Policy Institute of California shows 68 percent of likely voters support the plan, taking higher taxes over further cuts to education.

"There remains a strong belief that the state government could spend less and provide the same services, even as Californians notice local service reductions from state spending cuts and show early support for a tax increase,” said Mark Baldassare, PPIC president and CEO, summing up survey findings in a press release.

Meanwhile, many business groups continue to oppose any tax increase. Wednesday, the National Federation of Independent Business' California chapter said small business owners would be especially hard hit. Many of them file their taxes as individuals and make more than $250,000 a year, according to the business association.

Brown likely will tout his proposal to change the California Environmental Quality Act as a more business-friendly move.

He says it will "simplify and expedite the approval process for job-creating projects" in the state. The L.A. Area Chamber of Commerce — the biggest business advocacy group in the region — is considering whether to take a position on Brown’s proposal.

The governor will address the group's annual dinner at the downtown Marriott on Thursday.

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