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New Tax Plan From Committee

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A two-house committee of budget negotiators has approved a new tax package in Sacramento. The plan, approved last night, includes a two-year increase in vehicle license fees and a 63-cent-per-pack hike in cigarette taxes. But both of the committee´s Republican members oppose the plan. A four-point-seven billion dollar tax increase that would mainly hit the wealthy with higher income taxes failed in the Senate by a single vote Tuesday. Senate President Pro Tem John Burton says the income tax hike is dead. Lawmakers are trying to agree on a plan that would help close a 23-point- six billion dollar budget deficit. The new state fiscal year starts Monday without a budget agreement in place.