Gov. Jerry Brown counts on magic to create California jobs

Alexis Levinson Political Reporter
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California Democratic Gov. Jerry Brown apparently has a plan to revitalize the state’s failing economy: magic, with a little bit of help from Harry Potter.

Brown’s office emailed reporters Monday to share that he would be at Universal Studios on Tuesday to “give remarks … to highlight a special announcement that will bring hundreds of millions of dollars into California’s economy, help create jobs and support our tourism industry.”

The special announcement: that Universal Studios Hollywood will be the site of a new Wizarding World of Harry Potter, similar to the attraction currently at Universal Studios Orlando.

What it was not was anything to do with the tax reform initiative that Brown released Monday to little fanfare. That announcement was reserved for an open letter to Californians posted on Twitter. The initiative will be one of five different tax reform initiatives on the ballot in 2012.

It calls for a two percent increase on income tax rates for wealthy Californians, and a one-half cent increase in the state’s sales tax. The money would be used to prevent further cuts in education and public safety spending, according to Brown.

The state currently has a $26 billion budget shortfall.

With that said, Harry Potter will likely help Brown fix some of that problem. Tourists will likely flock to the park, as they do to the one in Orlando, which had more than 7 million visitors in its first year, according to the Los Angeles Times, and “was the main driver in a 36% increase at Universal’s park there in the first three months of 2011.”

Moreover, building the park over the next several years will create jobs.

According to California-based Republican strategist Reed Galen, Brown is putting his emphasis in the right place.

“The Harry Potter park has a much better chance of success than the tax proposal,” he told TheDC.

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