ALAMEDA, Calif. — Most Californians agree with Gov. Jerry Brown’s plan to hold a special election soon to decide if temporary state tax increases should be extended, according to a poll released this week.
Two-thirds of those surveyed said Brown’s special election proposal is a good idea, and a majority are generally satisfied with his budget plan, according to the Public Policy Institute of California survey, announced late Wednesday.
The governor’s initial budget proposal calls for a mix of tax extensions and spending cuts. It calls for $84.6 billion in general fund spending in fiscal 2012, down from about $92.2 billion in the current year.
To support even that reduced spending level, Brown plans to ask voters to for a five-year extension of temporary sales, income, and vehicle taxes that are slated to sunset by June 30.
Putting those measures on a special election ballot before the end of June requires action by lawmakers, by two-thirds majorities, by approximately the end of March.
According to the survey, about 58% of Californians are generally satisfied with the outlines of the governor’s budget proposal.
“Californians are beginning to feel more hopeful — that the economy is improving, that the governor and legislature can get something done,” Mark Baldassare, the PPIC survey director, said in a statement. “But that hope is fragile and could dissolve quickly. The challenge for Brown is to convince Californians that his complex budget plan is a real solution to the state’s fiscal troubles.”
The poll found that a smaller majority — 54% of likely voters and 53% of those surveyed — actually favored the tax extension plan they would be voting on.
A much larger majority — 63% of likely voters and 66% of the entire survey — favored Brown’s proposal to phase out funding for local redevelopment agencies and eliminate enterprise zones.
The approval levels for Brown’s budget and policy plans don’t carry over to the governor himself — the PPIC survey found that only 41% of those surveyed approve of the overall job he is doing so far.
The findings were based on a telephone survey of 2,004 adult California residents.
The margin of error was plus or minus 3.5% for the entire survey, and 4.2% for the 987 likely voters, according to the PPIC.