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If California's Prop. 30 Passes But Doesn't Fix Budget, 74 Percent Say Spending Cuts Must Be Next

The October Reason-Rupe poll suggests California voters are open to one more round of tax increases, but after that, three-fourths want the legislature to actually get serious about cutting state spending.

California’s Proposition 30 increases personal income taxes on upper income families for seven years and increases the sales tax by a quarter percent on all Californians for four years. Lawmakers hope this will raise $6 billion in annual tax revenue and plan to allocate much of it to education, including higher education in the state. The ballot initiative is still too close to call, 50 percent plan to vote yes and 46 percent plan to vote no, within the poll’s +/- 4.5 percent margin of error.

The poll probed Californians further on Prop 30, asking that if the tax increases passed but did not sufficiently close California’s budget deficit what would they like the legislature to do next. At this point, 74 percent of Californians want the legislature to cut spending levels to balance the budget, 15 percent want it to levy further tax increases and 4 percent want the state to borrow money.

Across demographic and political groups, Californians say they want the legislature to focus solely on spending cuts if Prop 30 tax increases are insufficient to balance the budget. Self-identified liberals were the only group with a significant number calling for further tax increases: if Prop 30 failed to close the budget deficit 42 percent of liberals favor raising more taxes, and 48 percent want the state to cut spending.

California telephone poll conducted October 11th-15th on both landline and cell phones, 696 adults, margin of error +/- 3.8%. The sample also includes 508 likely voters, with a margin of error of +/- 5.1%. Columns may not add up to 100% due to rounding. Full methodology can be found here. Full poll results found here.

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