With 74 percent of precincts reporting, Proposition 30, a temporary tax increase backed by Gov. Brown, now hasthe lead with 53 percent of votes in favor it.
Brown has already declared Prop. 30 a victory.
"Let's not go overboard with the Kool Aid of the market ideologues," Brown said on his Prop. 30 speech.
Proposition 38, a tax increaseto fund education, was rejected by voters.
Tax initiatives need a 55 percent majority vote to pass.
Major supporters of Prop. 30 are also opponents of Proposition 32, which will ban union automatic payroll deductions for political purposes.
California voters have reaffirmed their support for unions in defeating a provision that would have banned the way labor traditionally raises money to fund political activity.
The defeat of Proposition 32 became clear early Wednesday.
Business and labor groups contributed more than $120 million on an initiative that reflected the national debate over labor clout.
Proposition 32 would have prohibited corporations and unions from collecting money for state political activities through paycheck deductions. It would have hit unions hardest because corporations do not typically deduct money from employee pay for political activities.
While labor led the No on Prop. 32 fight, businesses and wealthy Republicans funded the opposing campaign. Proposition 32 backers also received an $11 million contribution from an Arizona nonprofit.