Early last evening, the Secretary of State announced that enough signatures have been verified to qualify the Governor’s tax proposal for the November ballot. As of Wednesday afternoon, 923,674 of the more than 1,466,801 signatures submitted were found to be valid. Proponents needed 888,377 to earn a spot on the ballot without further review.
The proposal, which seeks to temporarily increase both the State sales tax and income taxes on high income earners, is a linchpin of the budget deal still being formulated in Sacramento. Both the Governor in his budget proposal, and legislative Democrats in their majority-vote budget sent to the Governor last week, assumed revenues from the yet-to-be-approved changes. Failure to qualify would have wreaked havoc on those plans and possibly forced Democrats to confront “trigger cuts” to education and public safety that will automatically occur if voters reject the proposal in November.
The Governor’s proposal joins an already crowded ballot which will feature at least one competing tax increase measure. The so-called “Munger Initiative” also qualified this afternoon, a development that some argue will reduce the Governor’s chances. That effort would raise the income tax on nearly every Californian to support new education programs. Today’s qualifications bring the total to 10 initiatives thus far with two remaining proposals still in the signature verification process.
CGA has supported the effort to place the proposal on the ballot before voters, but has not yet weighed in on the proposal itself. For more information, visit the Secretary of State’s web site.