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Friday
Feb242012

SACRAMENTO: Field Poll, "Californians willing to tax the wealthy," majority support for two of three California tax increase measures....

 * San Francisco Chronicle:  "Field Poll: Californians willing to tax the wealthy" - From the Chronicle:

   After years of austere state budgets and frustration among Democratic lawmakers who have tried unsuccessfully to increase taxes, a new poll shows the majority of voters are ready to raise the wealthiest Californians' income taxes.

   A Field Poll released today contains mostly good news for the various groups that want voters to approve tax increases this fall. The strongest support is for the so-called millionaires tax, which would increase state income taxes for people who make more than $1 million a year. Gov. Jerry Brown's tax plan also had majority support, according to the independent survey, with 58 percent of likely voters inclined to vote for the measure.

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   The Field Poll, which surveyed likely voters earlier this month, found even stronger support - 63 percent - for the millionaires tax measure, which is supported by the California Federation of Teachers, the California Nurses Association and others.

   Only one tax proposal could not muster support from a majority of likely voters. That proposal, sponsored by wealthy civil rights lawyer Molly Munger and the state Parent Teacher Association, would raise state income taxes for wage earners, with the largest increases on the highest wage earners. The money would fund education and child care. The Field Poll found 45 percent of likely voters would support the measure and 48 percent would not.

   Field Poll Director Mark DiCamillo said the Occupy Wall Street movement seems to be part of the reason that the millionaires tax is so popular. "I think that's certainly part of it, the equity issue ... the perception that (the wealthy) have reaped lots of rewards in the economy while the rest of the public is really suffering," he said.

   There also is some selfishness involved, DiCamillo said, since millionaires account for such a small percentage of the population. "The other part is the something-for-nothing idea, that it doesn't affect me and money is needed, so sure," he said.

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   The Field Poll did not ask how the respondents would vote if all three measures were on the November ballot. However, when asked in general terms, voters strongly supported raising income taxes on only the wealthy, as both Brown's proposal and the millionaires tax would do. Only 9 percent of respondents said they would support raising all income tax rates by one-quarter of a percentage point......................

***ALSO, Sacramento Bee:  "Poll finds majority support for two of three California tax increase measures"