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Berryhill: Governor Brown Missed Opportunity

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Sonora, CA — Republican State Senator Tom Berryhill says Governor Jerry Brown “missed a huge opportunity” by not reaching out to a small group of Republicans regarding his ballot measure calling for temporary tax increases.

This was Berryhill’s reaction after hearing Wednesday’s “State of the State” address.

Berryhill, who’s District 14 covers Tuolumne County, was a member of the so-called “GOP Five” that negotiated with the Governor last year in hopes of finding a compromise on tax increases to help balance the budget. Brown later set forth on a new path when the talks became fruitless.

The Governor is now proposing a November ballot initiative to increase the state sales tax and income taxes on high earners ($250K-plus). Berryhill says he’s open to the idea of raising the sales tax by half a cent, but opposes putting more tax burden on the wealthy. “We’ve continued to hammer the people that are investing in California and creating jobs,” says Berryhill. “You shouldn’t step on a recovery, which in my opinion, this would be doing.”

Berryhill feels that the Governor’s tax package will eventually fail to gain the support of voters. He says a compromise deal that would have included increasing the sales tax, reforming the pension system and reducing business regulations would have garnered bi-partisan support statewide.

Brown is hoping to sell his tax plan to voters over the coming months. If the latest Field Poll is any indication, more Californians approve of Brown’s job performance than disapprove. 47% believe the Governor is doing a positive job leading the state, 36% disapprove, and 17% have no opinion. The poll was conducted last month.