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Slide in polls for California tax measure may have halted

SAN FRANCISCO (Reuters) - Results of a Field Poll survey released on Thursday suggest support for California Governor Jerry Brown's tax measure on next week's ballot has stabilized at 48 percent of likely voters after slipping from 51 percent in September.

Field Poll director Mark DiCamillo said his firm conducted the survey last month over two weeks and found the level of support for the measure did not change over that period following its drop from September.

At the same time, opposition to the measure has yet to exceed 38 percent, while 14 percent of voters were undecided, compared with 13 percent in September.

"The poll on the whole is pretty good news for the governor," said DiCamillo. "The 'no' campaign doesn't seem to be gathering any steam."

Other recent polls have found support for Brown's measure, known as Proposition 30, below but close to 50 percent. Its support has eroded from above 50 percent as opponents intensified their campaigns.

Proposition 30 would increase California's sales tax and income tax rates on wealthy taxpayers to raise revenue to prevent spending cuts to education programs in the near term and bolster the state's budget in coming years.

A rival measure, Proposition 38, would increase personal income tax rates on all but the poorest Californians to raise money for school spending, early childhood programs and to repay state debt.

The latest Field Poll survey found 34 percent of likely voters in favor of Proposition 38, 49 percent opposed and 17 percent undecided.

In September, 41 percent of likely voters supported the measure, 44 percent opposed it and 15 percent were undecided.

(Reporting By Jim Christie. Editing by Andre Grenon)

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