Gov. Jerry Brown and the California Federation of Teachers have started gathering signatures to qualify their compromise tax proposal for the November ballot.
The Democratic governor and CFT announced last week that they had reached an agreement to work together to try to qualify a measure that combines parts of their rival tax proposals. CFT had been working with the Courage Campaign to qualify a special tax increase on millionaires.
The state attorney general's office released a title and summary for the new measure, on Friday, two days after the groups filed language agreed upon last week. Brown adviser Steve Glazer said supporters hit the streets with petitions on Sunday.
The measure is similar in structure to the constitutional amendment initially proposed by Brown, which relied on a temporary half-percent hike in the sales tax and temporary income tax increases for Californians earning more than $250,000. The new version features a quarter-percent hike in the sales tax and steeper increases for higher earners. The sales tax increase would last four years and the income tax increases would last seven years.
While the drafting process, which includes a fiscal analysis from the Legislative Analyst's Office, can take as long as 40 working days, Brown's allies had earlier said they believed they would see a faster turnaround since the new version only required changing figures for the tax increases. The attorney general turned around the title and summary for a spending cap proposal submitted by Republican attorney Tom Hiltachk on Wednesday in the same amount of time. The proposal was similar to one submitted by the California Taxpayers Association, Howard Jarvis Taxpayers Association and Small Business Action Committee that had been cleared for circulation last month.
While supporters will technically have 150 days to gather more than 800,000 valid voter signatures, they are thought to have about six to eight weeks to submit the petitions in time to secure a spot for the November ballot. Making the cut in a matter of weeks is expected to cost several million dollars. Both Brown and the millionaires tax coalition are continuing to circulate petitions for their original proposals in case the compromise plan is not successful in the truncated time frame.