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Huge bi-partisan support for taxing the rich to fix budget.  Plan B?

Click here to see the actual CFT poll results that generated this story.


Think the budget negotiations are dead? Get ready for something that could contribute to a Plan B: Tax the rich.
We just got our hands on a new poll due out Friday that shows blow-the-roof-off support for something that has only been mumbled about in the most progressive corners of the Dome: Increasing taxes one percent on Californians making more than $500,000. It would raise $2.5 billion towards the state's $26.6 billion deficit.
We explored this issue weeks ago, but few would talk it up then. But now, they might.
How high is the support? Try a whopping 78 percent. Even 60 percent of Republicans and 79 percent of independent and other voters backed it, too.
"Those are the highest numbers I've ever seen. On a tax scale -- that's pretty much a perfect score," said Lenny Goldberg, executive director of the California Tax Reform Association.
The poll, conducted by Democratic pollster Ben Tulchin and sponsored by the California Federation of Teachers, is opening eyes as part of a potential Plan B for solving the budget deficit with its bi-partisan support.
The survey found that 53 percent of the 800 likely California voters surveyed strongly support the tax. Overall support cut across racial, age and geographic boundaries.
"There is a populist anger out there that cuts across all lines," Tulchin told us. Many voters felt it was unfair that the wealthiest Americans got their Bush-era tax cuts extended last year.
"The see that these (state) service cuts would affect middle-class and lower-class people and they want rich people to pay their fair share," Tulchin said.
We'll have a story in The Chronicle Friday, but the reaction from Sac: Republicans: No way. Dems: Hmmm. Let's see that poll first.

By Joe Garofoli, Thursday, March 31, 2011

Politics Blog