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Brown Tax Drive Collects $1.4 Million From Occidental, Tribes

California Governor Jerry Brown’s campaign for a ballot measure to bridge a deficit with higher sales and income taxes collected $1.45 million from Occidental Petroleum Corp., American Indian gaming interests, hospitals and a building-trades union, reports show.

Occidental, the fourth-largest U.S. oil producer by market capitalization, gave $250,000 to support the voter initiative, according to reports filed with the secretary of state as of Jan. 21. The California Association of Hospitals and Health Systems’ political arm gave $500,000, while that of the State Building & Construction Trades Council of California contributed $250,000. Indian tribes and gaming interests added $303,100, the reports show.

If the campaign gathers enough signatures to qualify the initiative for the November ballot, Brown would ask voters to pass a temporary sales-tax increase to 7.75 percent from 7.25 percent, and to boost rates for individuals with annual incomes of more than $1 million a year to 12.3 percent from 10.3 percent.

Melissa Schoeb, a spokeswoman for Los Angeles-based Occidental, didn’t immediately respond to a telephone call seeking comment on the company’s contribution.

Brown, a 73-year-old Democrat, is pitching his tax plan to narrow a budget deficit of $9.2 billion. If voters reject the proposal, Brown has said he would cut $4.8 billion from schools, the equivalent of taking three weeks from the academic year.

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