Friday, May 11, 2012

November Tax Could Go Up in Smoke in June

You probably know that Governor Brown has now filed his tax initiative for the November ballot.  He will be unveiling his May Revise 2012-13 budget proposal this coming Monday and it is likely to be unpleasant since state tax revenues are coming in below forecast levels for this year.  Exactly how UC will fare in the new proposal is unknown but it was the target of trigger cuts in the January version; the trigger would be pulled if voters do not pass the governor’s tax initiative.  (Ultimately, of course, the budget and any triggers must be enacted by the legislature; the governor does not have the final word except through his veto powers.)

Although most of the exciting propositions this calendar year will be on the ballot in November, two will be on the June primary ballot.  In fact, they are already on that ballot and absentee ballots have been mailed.  One is a tobacco tax earmarked for cancer research.  While that sounds like a sure thing to pass since smokers are a decreasing minority and no one favors cancer, tobacco companies are putting major bucks in a campaign against the proposition (Prop 29).  They don't think it's a sure thing to pass.  Dueling TV ads can be seen below.  Tobacco companies have had some successes in California in the legislature and regarding ballot propositions in the past.

In any event, it the tobacco tax fails in June, that failure will be taken as a sign of anti-tax sentiment.  The June primary is the presidential primary.  Democrats have no real choice or controversy about their presidential candidate.  Romney has essentially won the GOP nomination but conservatives who preferred other candidates might show up to cast protest votes.  The voter profile in June could be different from the voter profile in November.

Brown has not endorsed Prop 29 – the tobacco tax – perhaps because if it fails he doesn’t want to be identified with it. He did remove the doc who appears in the ad below from a state panel. See:

Here are the TV ads against and for Prop 20:

No on Prop 29
Yes on Prop 29

And then there is:

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Here's my comment. Did you read this initiative? Notice how UCLA has been left out? Maybe you should look up the California Institute for Quantitative Biomedical Research -- the Chancellors of each participating institution get a seat on the 9-member panel that controls the money.

UCLA isn't in this Institute. This is just a Bay-area revenue grab (Hint: the southernmost institution in the Institute above is UC Santa Cruz.)

Good idea to tax tobacco. Too bad the people writing this initiative had to be greedy a-holes just like the ones running tobacco companies.

Don't vote for this nonsense. Joke of the month: How many Bay-area PhDs and lawyers does it take to change a lightbulb or write a fair-minded ballet proposition? (Answer: For the latter, apparently more than they had this time.)