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Bid To Extend California Tax Hike Fails In Senate

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California State Capitol

California State Capitol (CBS)

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SACRAMENTO (CBS/AP)- The state Senate has rejected extending recent tax hikes for another year to help close California’s $9.6 billion budget deficit but approved a bill that would allow local communities to more easily go to the voters for tax increases.

The Senate voted 22-15 along party lines Friday for the so-called “bridge tax,” which would have continued for one year increases in the sales and vehicle taxes enacted in 2009. The measure fell five votes short of the two-thirds majority needed.

The higher tax rates will expire June 30 unless they are renewed.

Democrats want a one-year renewal to give school districts certainty over their funding. Gov. Jerry Brown wants lawmakers to call a special election in September so voters can decide whether to extend the tax hikes for five years.

(Copyright 2011 by CBSSan Francisco. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. Wire services may have contributed to this report.)

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