A rift has developed between Gov. Jerry Brown and Orinda Mayor, Steve Glazer, according to the Los Angeles Times (July 30). The rift is significant because Glazer managed Brown’s 2010 election campaign and is, according to the Times, Brown’s “top fund raiser.” In the November 2012 election, Glazer is also supporting a one-half percentage point increase in the Orinda sales tax.
The Orinda City Council, which includes Glazer, voted unanimously on July 17 to put the Orinda sales-tax hike on the November ballot. For the same election, Brown wants a one-quarter point increase in the sales tax. If both measures pass, the Orinda sales tax will go from its current 8.25 percent to 9.0 percent.
Apparently, Brown is worried that Orinda’s tax measure will jeopardize the governor’s own tax plan.
According to the Times: ” . . . Brown’s clout apparently doesn’t stretch to Orinda, where the City Council voted unanimously to ask voters to raise local sales taxes to help raise money for road improvements.”
Currently, California has the highest statutory sales tax in the nation. The Orinda and Brown tax plans will make the sale-tax tax burden even higher. The hike in the Orinda sales tax will go for the repair of Orinda’s bad roads.
Brown’s plan will give California the highest top personal state income tax bracket in the nation: 13.3 percent. Currently, California’s current top bracket of 9.3 percent begins at an annual income level of $48,000.
Orinda’s roads do need repair, so the Orinda tax plan may produce higher home values. Or not.
In contrast, Brown’s plan will only make California less competitive with such states as Texas.
Voters should soundly reject Brown’s tax measure. Perhaps Glazer should tell the governor that California should be lowering taxes statewide to create more jobs and investment in the Golden State.