A week after negotiating the compromise tax measure with the California Federation of Teachers, Gov. Jerry Brown said today that despite recent talks with Molly Munger, the proponent of a competing tax initiative, there is no sign of a deal.
"I spoke to her on the phone, she sent my wife a nice e-mail, and my wife responded, and then she responded back, and that's where we are," the Democratic governor told reporters in Sacramento.
He said the exchange "left things as they are, with a very fierce campaign on the horizon, which I'm fully prepared for."
Brown said his compromise tax measure, despite its greater reliance on income tax, will not lead to budget volatility.
"We're coming out of a recession, and we're coming out slowly," Brown said. "By the time we get to the point of the next recession, this tax measure will have expired."
He said, "My goal is to use the money from the tax measure, if it passes, and pay for the programs, pay down debt, and get ready for the next recession with a reserve ... I'm going to build a reserve to guard against the falloff in revenue that comes from having so much reliance on the income tax."
Brown said a representative of Occidental Petroleum Corp., which donated $250,000 to Brown's tax campaign in January, told him in a telephone call that the company is still supportive of the measure.
The compromise tax initiative between Brown and the CFT would extend a higher tax on California's highest-income earners to seven years instead of five. Business groups have objected to permanent tax increases or ones that remain in place for a long period.