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THE NOONER for December 2, 2011

jump to the headlines

DISTRICT UPDATES

  • AD50 - added West Hollywood Planning Commissioner Brad Torgan (R)
  • AD64 - added Compton USD board member Micah Ali (D)

THE GOOD NEWS: Unemployment Slips to 8.6% as Private Sector Adds Jobs  [Josh Mitchell and Jeffrey Sparshott @ WSJ]

The U.S. labor market strengthened in November as private employers continued to add jobs at a healthy pace, and the unemployment rate fell to its lowest level since March 2009.

Nonfarm payrolls rose by 120,000 last month, the U.S. Labor Department reported Friday in its monthly survey of employers. Private companies added 140,000 jobs, while the public sector—federal, state and local governments—lost 20,000 jobs.

THE OTHER NEWS: @ezraklein: "Bad news deep in the jobs report: most sectors down. The boost came from retail sales, so it might just be temp. holiday hiring." [full blog post]

Of the new 140,000 net private sector non-farm jobs, 32,700 were in food services, 26,700 were in clothing stores and 22,300 were in temporary help services. Not exactly the economy of the 21st Century, nor one that is going to drive California's personal income tax receipts.

THE TAXMAN: Jerry Brown Has Plan To Hike Sales, Income Taxes [Kevin Yamamura @ SacBee]

The Deets:

The measure would be a ballot initiative for November 2012, tied to local government realignment.

Sales tax: increase by .005 (half-cent) sales tax from January 1, 2013 through December 31, 2016
Personal Income Tax (retroactive to full 2012 tax year through 2016):
- $250,000 ind/$500,000 joint: 1% increase (to 11.3% marginal)
- $300,000 ind/$600,000 joint: 1.5% increase (to 11.8% marginal)
- $500,000 ind/$1,000,000 joint: 2% increase (to 12.3% marginal) 

Revenue: $7 billion

Meanwhile, a coalition led by the California Federation of Teachers announced the filing of its own initiative yesterday which would levy a "millionaires' tax" raising $6 billion in revenue. CFT and more liberal allies want a larger increase in PIT on high-income earners without the hit to low- and middle-income voters of the sales tax increase. Sources say that the California Teachers Association is working with the governor on his plan, and doesn't support a pure "millionaire's tax."

DAN WALTERS: "Those who believe that California should raise taxes – including Gov. Jerry Brown – to close its budget deficit or increase spending may be forming a circular firing squad."

JOE, WYATT & MARISA: "At least five tax-raising ballot initiatives backed by people with deep pockets are gaining momentum, including one expected to be filed today by Gov. Jerry Brown. However, some supporters worry that the initiatives could be too much of the same thing."

AURAL PLEASURE: The Capital Notes Podcast is up with John Myers, Anthony York and Marisa Lagos. The topic, of course is taxes.

So, here's what we have right now on (likely) well-financed ballot measures:

  • Governor Jerry Brown (details expected today)
    Tax increases: Sales and high-end personal income
    Revenue: $7 billion annually
    Term: 2012 (PIT)/2013 (Sales) - 2016 
    Purpose: education, realignment, general fund
  • Think Long Committee
    Tax increases: Sales tax on services, middle-income sales taxes 
    Tax decreases: Corporate taxes
    Revenue: $10 billion annually
    Term: Ongoing, beginning in 2013
    Purpose: General fund 
  • Restoring California, led by California Federation of Teachers (filing expected soon)
    Tax increases: High-end personal income tax
    Revenue: $6 billion annually
    Term: Ongoing
    Purpose: Education, senior services, public safety, infrastructure
  • "Our Children, Our Future" (Molly Munger)
    Tax increase: Personal income (1% increase in base rate)
    Revenue: $10 billion annually
    Term: Ongoing, beginning January 1, 2013
    Purpose: Early childhood and K-12 education (outside of Prop. 98 guarantee)
  • Tom Steyer: California Clean Energy Jobs Act
    Tax increase: Require corporations to use single sales factor (primarily hits out-of-state corporations) 
    Revenue: $1.1 billion
    Term: Ongoing, for specified purpose from 2013-2018
    Purpose: Proposition 98 education and creation of clean energy jobs fund (for five years at $550m)
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HAPPY HOLIDAYS JOURNALISTS! Assembly loses court bid to withhold member budget documents [Jim Sanders @ SacBee]

EVEN TIGHTER: With a couple of bigger counties in with their random sample, the redistricting referendum is looking even tighter. Statewide validity is now at 69.18%. As I wrote on November 28, to not fail immediately and move on to a full check, the referendum needs 68.8% projected validity in the random sample. Here are the validity rates of a couple of larger counties that have come in since the last report:

  • Butte: 66.4%
  • Kern: 66.7%
  • Statewide: 69.18%

Meanwhile, with only LA and Orange as big outstanding counties, paycheck protection/deception only needs 52% validity in those counties to qualify without a full check.

FUNDRAISING FOLLIES: Today, you could have had mid-morning coffee and pastries to help Assemblymember Marty Block with his currently uncontested bid for SD39, or a visit to a spa and lunch for his re-election bid in AD78. [h/t Capitol Morning Report]

MONEY TRACKING WOES: It's not that the money stopped flowing or that ElectionTrack stopped updating. The Secretary of State's Cal-Access website has been down for 36 hours and won't be back up until tonight.

And, we have the headlines...

TOP HEADLINES ON AROUNDTHECAPITOL.COM AS OF 12:00PM
Sacramento Judge Orders Assembly To Provide Budget Records
Jim Sanders @
blogs.sacbee.com
The Assembly must release member-by-member budgets and related documents under a Sacramento Superior Court ruling Thursday.

Jerry Brown Has Plan To Hike Sales, Income Taxes
sacbee.com
Desperate to plug budget holes for the next five years, Gov. Jerry Brown will ask voters to raise $7 billion annually by taxing the rich and hiking the sales tax by half a cent.

House votes to end public funding of presidential campaigns
Kathleen Hennessey, Washington Bureau @
latimes.com
The House has passed legislation that would dismantle the system of public financing for presidential campaigns, a key element of post-Watergate reforms aimed at minimizing the role of money in politics.

Tax-the-rich Measures May Cancel Each Other Out
Joe Garofoli, Wyatt Buchanan,Marisa Lagos @
sfgate.com
At least five tax-raising ballot initiatives backed by people with deep pockets are gaining momentum, including one expected to be filed today by Gov. Jerry Brown. However, some supporters worry that the initiatives could be too much of the same thing.

California legislators give Jerry Brown's pension reform plan a tepid response
sacbee.com
Gov. Jerry Brown's proposed rollback of public employee pensions received a tepid response from California legislators at its first public hearing Thursday, even as the Democratic governor made a public appeal for his plan.

372 Medical Marijuana Shops File L.A. Business Tax Paperwork
Rich Connell @
latimesblogs.latimes.com
The City of Los Angeles has 372 medical marijuana shops that filed paperwork to pay a new pot tax by a Oct. 31 deadline. In 2005, when the city first tried to figure out how many pot shops it had, the police department found four.

Many SF Voters Used Ranked-choice Voting Incorrectly
Shane Shifflett @
baycitizen.org
Despite a $300,000 educational campaign leading up to last month’s elections, including a new smiley-face mascot, publicity events, and advertising on buses and in newspapers, only one-third of voters on Nov. 8 filled out all three choices in all three races, according to an analysis released this week by the University of San Francisco.

Jerry Brown has plan to hike sales, income taxes
sacbee.com
Desperate to plug budget holes for the next five years, Gov. Jerry Brown will ask voters to raise $7 billion annually by taxing the rich and hiking the sales tax by half a cent.

Attempts To Extend Payroll Tax Holiday Fail In Senate : Roll Call News
rollcall.com
Democratic and Republican efforts to continue the current payroll tax holiday failed this evening in the Senate when both competing proposals did not win the 60 votes needed to end debate.

Newsom Seeks To Harness Energy Of Student Protests
accessing this site, you accept our @
baycitizen.org
Dozens of chanting protesters disrupted a public meeting of the University of California Board of Regents on Monday, driving all ...

Gov. Jerry Brown defends plan to reduce pension costs
Michael J. Mishak and Patrick McGreevy @
latimes.com
The governor says lower benefits for government workers are necessary to help balance the budget. Also, he is said to be seeking to boost the sales tax and to tax high-income earners 1% to 2% more a year.

Court tentatively orders Assembly to provide budget records
Jim Sanders @
blogs.sacbee.com
A Sacramento Superior Court judge tentatively has ordered the Assembly to publicly release member-by-member budgets and other legislative documents it had deemed confidential.

Podcast: It's Beginning To Look A Lot Like...
John Myers @
blogs.kqed.org
Well, it's beginning to look a lot like election season. And this season, we may be talking an awful lot about taxes.

Senate approves $662 billion defense bill
Donna Cassata @
mercurynews.com
WASHINGTON -- Ignoring a presidential veto threat, the Democratic-controlled Senate on Thursday overwhelmingly approved a massive, $662 billion defense bill that would require the military to hold suspected terrorists linked to al-Qaida or its affiliates, even those captured on U.

Gov. Jerry Brown Defends Pension Changes Against Critics
Patrick McGreevy @
latimesblogs.latimes.com
Gov. Jerry Brown stepped up Thursday to defend his proposed overhaul of the state’s public pension systems against criticism from legal experts and unions, telling lawmakers it would save money without running afoul of legal restrictions that protect retirement benefits for current employees.

House Votes to End Financing for Presidential Campaigns
THE ASSOCIATED PRESS @
nytimes.com
The House on Thursday passed a bill to end the public financing of presidential campaigns. It would dismantle a system set up after the Watergate scandal of the 1970s that has been overshadowed in recent years by the huge sums of private money pouring into elections. The bill would remove from income tax forms the check-off box where taxpayers can voluntarily steer $3 into a fund for presidential primaries and general elections. The Republican-backed measure passed 235 to 190 on a nearly party-line vote. It now goes to the Senate, where the Democratic majority is unlikely to take it up.

Lawmaker Presses For Probe Of Caltrans
Ari Bloomekatz @
latimes.com
A state senator wants the attorney general to examine whether a recent allegation of falsifying bridge testing could indicate wider mismanagement.

SFSU Students Debate President, Erect Occupy Camp
Nanette Asimov @
sfgate.com
San Francisco State University students set up their first Occupy encampment Thursday evening, but not before 150 or so protesters joined campus President Robert Corrigan in an extraordinary, if frustrating, hour-long...

Boehner looks to break GOP divide on payroll tax extension
Lisa Mascaro @
latimes.com
House GOP leaders are considering tacking legislation to advance the Keystone XL pipeline to attract Republican votes for a package to extend a payroll tax holiday that would hit American workers with an average $1,000 tax hike on Jan. 1 if it is allowed to expire at year's end.

Assembly loses court bid to withhold member budget documents
sacbee.com
Assembly member-by-member budgets allocating tens of millions of dollars and any changes made to them throughout the year are public records that must be disclosed, a Sacramento Superior Court judge ruled Thursday.

Feud over California Assembly records goes to court
JULIET WILLIAMS, Associated Press @
mercurynews.com
A Sacramento County Superior Court judge will hear arguments Friday on his tentative ruling that the California Assembly is not allowed to withhold a cache of budget documents it previously declined to make public.

Wisconsin joins top governors' races
David Catanese @
politico.com
Four gubernatorial elections have wrapped, but the remaining campaigns are becoming horse races.