Voters favor special election, spending cuts, and taxing business to close California budget gap

california budget gap, ppic poll, likely voters, cut spending raise corporate taxesKey findings of the most recent PPIC Poll find likely voters consider the California State Budget crisis a major problem, want a mix of spending cuts and taxes that don’t touch K-12 Education. A majority favor raising taxes on corporations but six in 10 don’t want to raise personal income tax or the vehicle license fee to deal with the budget.


When asked about a number of revenue proposals to address the state budget deficit, raising taxes on California’s corporations is the only one to receive majority support. Fewer than four in 10 favor increasing their own taxes via state income tax or a state sales tax on all purchases, or favor increasing the vehicle license fee.

Six in 10 Californians and 55 percent of likely voters favor raising the state taxes paid by California corporations. Leading up to the fall election, only 42 percent of likely voters in September favored the idea of raising the corporate tax. Today, there are stark partisan differences: three in four Democrats and more than half of independents in favor and six in 10 Republicans opposed. Residents in Los Angeles (64%) are the most likely—and Other Southern California residents (55%) the least likely—to favor raising corporate taxes. Majorities across all demographic groups favor raising corporate taxes.

Six in 10 Californians and seven in 10 likely voters oppose raising state personal income taxes. Republicans (81%) are again most likely to oppose this, followed by independents (67%) and Democrats (57%). While Los Angeles residents are divided (49% favor, 49% oppose), six in 10 or more residents in the other regions are opposed. Six in 10 Latinos favor an increase in the personal income tax, the only group to do so. Support falls short of a majority across income groups and decreases as income rises.

When asked about raising the state sales tax on all purchases, only three in 10 Californians express favor. Thirty-four percent of likely voters agree. Democrats (57%) are the least likely across parties to oppose this idea, followed by independents (68%) and Republicans (76%). Seven in 10 across regions oppose raising the state sales tax and Latinos (72%), whites (66%), men (71%), and women (66%) agree.

Solid majorities of Californians and likely voters also oppose increasing the vehicle license fee as a way to address the state budget deficit. Eight in 10 Republicans and six in 10 independents oppose raising the vehicle license fee, with Democrats divided (48% favor, 51% oppose). Whites (64%) are less likely than Latinos (73%) to be opposed. Majorities across regions oppose this increase, with opposition much lower among residents of the San Francisco Bay Area. Opposition is lowest among college graduates and those with incomes of $80,000 or more—the only demographic groups divided on this issue.