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Gov. Brown Pushes Tax Initiative In San Diego

— Governor Jerry Brown stopped in San Diego today to pitch his tax plan to members of the San Diego Regional Chamber of Commerce and other civic groups. Brown spoke to the crowd at Balboa Park’s Hall of Champions. He said an increase in the sales tax and an additional tax on people making more than $250 thousand year would about $7 billions for the state.

Brown also pushed for high speed rail and defended his decision to eliminate redevelopment agencies, which diverted some property taxes and put them back into neighborhoods.

"When you divert the taxes that would have otherwise gone to the schools and the county then you create a gap," he said. "And who fills up the gap? The state government."

But Brown said he believes the state will come up with a different funding mechanism to allow some form of redevelopment to continue.

California Gov. Jerry Brown speaks during a speech at Los Angeles City Hall on January 18, 2012 in Los Angeles, California.
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Above: California Gov. Jerry Brown speaks during a speech at Los Angeles City Hall on January 18, 2012 in Los Angeles, California.

Brown acknowledged his proposals were unpopular as he delivered his State of the State address Wednesday but said they were necessary to close a $9.2 billion budget gap.

"In a world still reeling from the near collapse of the financial system, it makes no sense to spend more than we have,'' Brown said, adding that prudence and paying down the state's debt are the best policies.

His proposed initiative to increase taxes "will protect our schools and guarantee -- in the constitution -- funding for the public safety programs we transferred to local government,'' Brown said.

Today's event was hosted by the San Diego Regional Chamber of Commerce, The City Club of San Diego and the Independent Voter Network.

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