A new poll released
Wednesday has good news and bad news for Gov. Jerry Brown.
The good news is that
his public approval ratings have rebounded slightly since March, according to
this survey by the Public Policy Institute of California. About 40 percent of
adults now view him favorably, compared to 34 percent a month earlier.
More good news: a
majority of Californians still like the idea of a special election to vote on
the budget, and they say they like Brown’s plan to balance the budget with a
mix of cuts and taxes.
Then there is the bad
news, for Brown.
The voters don’t like
some of the taxes in the package he is advocating, even if they are tied
explicitly to maintaining funding for the schools.
By a margin of 62-36,
likely voters oppose raising the sales tax to maintain funding for the schools.
Raising the income tax
is even less popular. That option is opposed, by a margin of 66 to 31.
Democrats oppose both options, although not be nearly as wide a margin as do
The one tax idea that
wins favor with the voters is soaking the rich — an income tax increase for
the wealthy. This idea is favored by a 62-37 margin, with 8 in 10 Democrats
backing the idea, and about 6 in 10 independent voters. About 60 percent of
Republicans oppose the idea.
The results on the
sales tax and broad-based income tax increase show why it was so important for
Brown to schedule the election before the end of the fiscal year, when a
temporary increase in the sales tax is scheduled to end. While technically the
temporary income tax hike ended Dec. 31, people paid their taxes this month
based on the higher rates, and that extension would have been lumped together
on a June ballot with the sales tax and car tax extensions and sold as merely
maintaining the status quo.
Now, if an election is
held after June 30, voters will be asked to increase their taxes.
The chances of them
doing that are far less.
Even, as this poll
shows, if funding for the schools is hanging in the balance.
See the full poll here.
Weintraub is editor of the California Health Report at www.healthycal.org