A high-profile group of California billionaires and influential political players has pulled plans to put two tax initiatives on the November ballot.
The 16-member “Think Long Committee for California,” led by billionaire Nicolas Berggruen and whose members include Google chairman Eric Schmidt and Los Angeles philanthropist Eli Broad, had proposed a massive change in the state tax system to help solve budget problems.
The Think Long Committee said it would postpone its initiative until 2014 because it was taking more time to develop its tax reform plan, according to the Sacramento Bee newspaper.
However, the committee’s initiatives would have competed with Gov. Jerry Brown’s own tax proposal to raise nearly $7 billion by temporarily raising income taxes on the wealthy as well as sales taxes.
Several tax initiatives on the ballot would likely make it more difficult for the governor’s proposal to pass.
Molly Munger, a wealthy civil rights advocate, has also filed a proposed ballot initiative that would raise income taxes to help fund public schools and preschools.
Berggruen had pledged $20 million to back the two initiatives. He is chairman of the investment firm Berggruen Holdings.
The committee’s recommendations included establishing a rainy-day reserve fund, multi-year budgeting, two-year legislative sessions with one year dedicated to oversight, transparency on initiative funding, K-12 school reform, and speeding up regulatory approval to spur job creation.