GOP gubernatorial candidates speak in La Jolla

Republican gubernatorial candidates Steve Poizner and Meg Whitman discussed job growth, taxes and economic development on Monday during separate appearances at an event organized by the San Diego Regional Economic Development Corp.

Poizner appeared on a panel at the San Diego Marriott La Jolla with Linden Blue, vice chairman of General Atomics — a nuclear industry research, development and consulting firm — and Stath Karras, executive managing director of the commercial real estate brokers and consultants Cushman & Wakefield.

Whitman was on a panel with Doug Hutcheson, president and chief executive officer of the wireless communications provider Leap Wireless International, Inc., and Jeff Moorad, the chief executive officer of the San Diego Padres.

“I want to cut taxes across the board,’' said Poizner, the state’s insurance commissioner.

Poizner touted his proposal for 10 percent cuts to the state’s personal income tax rates, the sales tax rate and corporate tax rate, and a 50 percent cut in the capital gains tax rate to stimulate California’s economy.

Poizner said Californians bear a tax burden far higher than any other western state.

His campaign estimates the cuts would result in increased economic activity and an inflation-adjusted 1.77 percent increase in state tax revenues the first year after they are enacted, and a 4.94 percent increase the second year.

Whitman, the former eBay chief executive officer, has pledged to help create two million private-sector jobs by 2015 by cutting taxes for job-creating businesses of every size; implementing targeted tax relief to strengthen manufacturing and create lasting high-paying jobs in California; lowering the capital gains tax; expanding research and development tax credits; exempting purchases of manufacturing equipment from state sales tax; and establishing tax incentives and credits to train and hire displaced workers.

“I want targeted tax relief that incentivizes companies to start hiring,” Whitman said.