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California voters OK increase to sales, wealthy income taxes

California voters have approved Gov. Jerry Brown's plan to raise income taxes on the wealthy and raise the statewide sales tax to fund K-12 schools and help balance the state budget.

The Proposition 30 vote was close and its passage was not clear until early Wednesday.

Its passage increases the statewide sales tax by a quarter cent for four years, starting in January, while people who make more than $250,000 a year will pay higher taxes for seven years retroactive to the beginning of 2012.

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If voters had rejected it, the Democratic governor had pledged to enact $6 billion in cuts to schools and colleges.

Conservative opponents spent as much as $53 million to defeat the measure, while unions and Democratic activists poured nearly $70 million into the yes campaign.

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