The Think Long Committee has decided to pull its tax reform initiative plan for more study instead of proceeding to a ballot initiative this year. Think Long made a splash on the California political scene by amassing a list of household names to support creative and government-altering reforms, which included restructuring the tax system at the same time increasing revenue to the state. Nicolas Berggreun, the billionaire behind the project, pledged $20 million to see it through.

With the Think Long Committee taking a rain check from the ballot, Governor Jerry Brown will continue his efforts to sweep aside other tax increase proposals so that his temporary income tax/sales tax increase plan will have a clear field when voters decide on tax increases next November.

Three other major tax proposals remain on the scene: The California Federation of Teachers/Courage Campaign tax on millionaires; civil rights attorney Molly Munger’s progressive income tax increases; and money manager Tom Steyer’s business tax reform that will raise taxes on some businesses and initially split the funds between the general fund and clean energy projects.

While all three proponents have indicated they are in the battle for the long haul, Brown will continue his efforts to move them aside. The betting here is that he is working first on Munger who has said she is willing to listen to what the governor has to say.

As reported here last month, after releasing the outline of its proposal, the Think Long Committee sought out and/or listened to the reaction of pundits and the people. The Committee was polling its plan in December.

As I discussed here, I had particular problems with the proposal for a “Civic Council for Government Accountability,” that would be given extraordinary powers exceeding the powers of legislators, the governor and ordinary citizens.

While Think Long is going back to the drawing board, the committee announced it still could be involved in the 2012 election by announcing its intention “to partner with other organizations by generously supporting one or more reform measures that have already been filed for the 2012 elections.”

The Committee has a number of reform measures to choose from. They may support Governor Brown’s tax increase plan that includes realignment reform for state and local government functions, the California Forward proposals for more effective governance, or the spending limit plan that would control spending and use excessive revenues to pay down the state’s debt.