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Dueling tax proposals for the 2012 ballot

by AirTalk®

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Google head Eric Schmidt is part of the Think Long Committee for California, which is proposing to overhaul the state tax system. Sean Gallup/Getty Images

They’re calling themselves the Think Long Committee, and they want to revamp California’s tax system.

A diverse, powerful group of billionaires and politicians including Los Angeles philanthropist Eli Broad, former governors Gray Davis and Arnold Schwarzenegger and Google chairman Eric Schmidt has announced a $10-billion tax increase proposal for the November 2012 ballot.

Their ideas include lowering the tax rate for families making up to $45,000, raising income tax rates for those making up to $95,000 to two percent, doubling the current exemption for homeowners and renters on their state income tax, and creating a new levy of more than five percent on currently untaxed services such as accounting.

The committee has not yet filed any official initiatives with the state attorney general’s office or created a campaign finance committee, but those moves are expected within the next few weeks. Taxpayer organizations such as the Howard Jarvis Taxpayers Association have said they have issues with the plan’s impact on businesses.

A coalition of labor unions and community groups are prepping their own ballot proposal that would raise taxes on high earners and increase the state sales tax. The California Federation of Teachers says pending budget cuts emphasize a need for a revenue measure on the 2012 ballot.


How do Think Long and the labor coalition’s plans differ? Do you agree with their proposals?


Bob Hertzberg, member, Think Long Committee who helped develop the tax and finance proposal; former speaker of the California State Assembly

Josh Pechtalt, President, California Federation of Teachers

Chris Vosburgh, Executive Director, Howard Jarvis Taxpayers Association

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