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NBC Touts Californians Who Support Higher Taxes

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Saturday's NBC Nightlly News hyped a poll finding that 64 percent of Californians would be willing to pay more taxes "if the money went to public schools." (Video below)

Substiute anchor Kate included a plug for the report in the opening teaser:

Tax hike: Why people in one state are saying bring it on. Tonight, why they're willing to pay more.

Before a commercial break, she plugged the segment again:

When Nightly News continues on this Saturday evening, why some people are saying: Go ahead, raise my taxes.

As she introduced the story, after noting that in California the state is "struggling to live within its means," Snow added:

But something unusual is happening in California. The cuts have been so severe that some people are actually saying they could live with higher taxes.

After a clip of a school teacher complaining about the budget cuts, correspondent George Lewis declared:

And now, Californians are contemplating something that would have been unthinkable previously. In a poll conducted by the Los Angeles Times and the University of Southern California, 64 percent of Californians said they would pay more taxes if the money went to public schools.

After a soundbite of former Assembly Speaker Robert Hertzberg arguing that Californians would be willing to support an increase in some taxes if they believe the money is not wasted, Lewis warned that anti-tax sentiment may yet thwart plans to raise taxes:

GEORGE LEWIS: But this is the state where a guy named Howard Jarvis led a taxpayer revolt in 1978, passing an initiative called Proposition 13, dramatically slashing property taxes. His legacy lives on with organized opposition to any new proposed tax hikes.

JON COUPAL, HOWARD JARVIS TAXPAYERS ASSOCIATION: I think the public reaction would be very negative. California voters have rejected the last seven proposed state-wide tax increases.

Lewis concluded:

California has been hit harder by budget cuts than most other states. And the looming battle will test  whether the people here have had a change of heart about taxes and the value of government services.

Below are both video and a complete transcript of the report from the Saturday, December 31, NBC Nightly News:

 

KATE SNOW, IN OPENING TEASER: Tax hike: Why people in one state are saying bring it on. Tonight, why they're willing to pay more.

...

SNOW, BEFORE COMMERCIAL BREAK: When Nightly News continues on this Saturday evening, why some people are saying: Go ahead, raise my taxes.

...

KATE SNOW: Starting tomorrow, a big new round of budget cuts will take place in California, which, like so many other states, is struggling to live within its means. But something unusual is happening in California. The cuts have been so severe that some people are actually saying they could live with higher taxes. More tonight from NBC's George Lewis.

GEORGE LEWIS: A lot of glitter has gone out of the Golden State. A tough economy and high unemployment have left the public coffers empty and the governor announcing $1 billion in painful cuts.

GOVERNOR JERRY BROWN (D-CA): This is not the way we'd like to run California, but we have to live within our means.

LEWIS: Everything from welfare programs to libraries to education, one of the areas hardest hit. With widespread protests over tuition hikes at state universities, and elementary schools cutting the number of teaching days.

TRACY OUTMAN, CALIFORNIA TEACHER: These are the kids that are going to be running our country someday. Are they really going to be ready?

LEWIS: And now, Californians are contemplating something that would have been unthinkable previously. In a poll conducted by the Los Angeles Times and the University of Southern California, 64 percent of Californians said they would pay more taxes if the money went to public schools. To help the schools and other vital services, Californians will get to vote on at least one initiative next year to raise state taxes. Governor Brown has filed an initiative that would increase sales taxes one-half cent and hike income taxes on millionaires by as much as two percent.

ROBERT HERTZBERG, FORMER CALIFORNIA ASSEMBLY SPEAKER: What we know is folks are willing to pay for the bills as long as they know their money's not being wasted.

LEWIS: But this is the state where a guy named Howard Jarvis led a taxpayer revolt in 1978, passing an initiative called Proposition 13, dramatically slashing property taxes. His legacy lives on with organized opposition to any new proposed tax hikes.

JON COUPAL, HOWARD JARVIS TAXPAYERS ASSOCIATION: I think the public reaction would be very negative. California voters have rejected the last seven proposed state-wide tax increases.

LEWIS: California has been hit harder by budget cuts than most other states. And the looming battle will test  whether the people here have had a change of heart about taxes and the value of government services. George Lewis, NBC News, Los Angeles.
 

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    Tags: budget, California, coupal, education, George Lewis, howard jarvis taxpayers, howard jarvis taxpayers association, jarvis taxpayers association, Kate Snow, los angeles times, NBC, nbc nightly news, polling, taxes, taxpayer revolt, university of southern california, video


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