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Support For Governor's Tax Proposal Drops Below 50 Percent In Field Poll

SACRAMENTO (KCBS) – With less than a week to go before the general election, a new Field Poll shows support for a tax hike proposal backed by Gov. Jerry Brown dropping below 50 percent.

Many experts said there's still a pretty good chance Proposition 30 will pass, mainly because the latest Field Poll shows that Prop 30 has 48 percent support and 14 percent of likely voters remain undecided.

Proposition 30 would raise income taxes for seven years on people making more than $250,000 a year. The governor's measure would temporarily increase sales taxes a quarter cent for four years.

Field Poll Director Mark DiCamillo said what could be a spoiler is a competing tax measure, Proposition 38, which would increase taxes on all Californians, instead of just the top income earners.

"There is a segment of voters out there that is actually supporting Prop 38 and not supporting Prop 30," said DiCamillo. "That's about a 9 percent segment. So if for whatever reason the governor's initiative doesn't make it to 50 percent, that clearly could be one of the reasons."

According to the Field Poll, Proposition 38 is still trailing among likely voters by a double digit margin, with 34 in favor and 49 percent opposed.

Last week, a Public Policy Institute poll also found support for Prop 30 waning.

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With just five days before Election Day, Brown is campaigning up and down the state trying to pass the measure. The governor was in San Francisco on Thursday for an hour-long appearance at the Commonwealth Club.

"Proposition 30 is money into the schools and colleges or money out. It's fair, it's moral, it represents the best in our California tradition and it is critical to maintaining our California Dream," said Brown.

The governor claimed his initiative would raise $6 billion a year through higher taxes that he said would be dedicated to education. Opponents maintain that's not true and that lawmakers could spend the money on other things.

Brown warned, if the measure fails, trigger cuts will devastate the schools and universities, and that there's nothing left to cut in order to spare them.

"If Proposition 30 loses there's no more money. Do you want more felons in your neighborhood? Think we can cut Medi-Cal more?"

Brown will be in Silicon Valley on Friday, looking for last-minute support for the measure.

(Copyright 2012 by CBS San Francisco. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)

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