Spend more than $30 million to pass a temporary tax increase proposition. See a governor put his entire political capital on the line to pass it, including airing countless television commercials featuring that man almost begging voters for a yes verdict. Threaten draconian cuts to schools and colleges that have already seen programs pared to the bone.
Result: The measure — last fall’s Proposition 30 — passed by a 55-45 percent margin, with every exit poll showing that, as Field Poll director Mark DiCamillo reported, “White non-Hispanics divided their votes evenly…but ethnic voters (Latinos, Asian-Americans and African Americans) collectively supported it by a 20-point margin, giving it its entire margin of victory.”
Another result: A sudden presumption that passing tax increases in California has become easy.
One product of this new assumption is a $2.2 billion per year tax increase proposition now being circulated primarily by liberal Democrats. This one — likely to be voted on in November 2014 — would add 2.5 cents per gallon to the already sky-high price of gasoline, tax alcoholic beverages varying amounts between a nickel and $1.65 per gallon and add a new levy on tobacco sales of 1.25 cents per individual cigarette...