The best tax measure

Only the governor’s plan should make the November ballot

A recent Field Poll indicates that voters approve two of the three tax measures proposed for the November ballot. That suggests people are coming to the realization that enough cutting has been done and now it’s time to increase revenues.

Of the three measures, the so-called “Millionaires Tax,” which would increase income taxes on Californians earning more than $1 million annually, is supported by 63 percent of respondents. Gov. Jerry Brown’s tax proposal, which would raise income taxes on Californians earning at least $250,000 annually, increase the sales tax by a half-cent and expire at the end of 2016, was supported by 58 percent of respondents. And the third initiative, sponsored by wealthy Los Angeles attorney Molly Munger, would increase income-tax rates on a sliding scale starting with individuals earning $7,316 in taxable income.

Our worry is that, if all three make the ballot, voters will rebel and kill them all. As it stands, the one with the least chance of running into well-funded opposition, and thus the best chance of passing, is the governor’s plan. It has widespread business and labor support. Also, because of the intricacies of budget financial constraints, it would do the best job of eliminating the state’s structural deficit.

More important, if the governor’s measure isn’t approved, a new, $5 billion round of budget cuts will be triggered. That would be a disaster for California.