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Gov. Brown Hits Southland to Campaign for Prop 30

The proposition on the Nov. ballot is one of two that would raise funds for public schools in California. What do you think about these two initiatives?

Gov. Jerry Brown began the campaign on behalf of Proposition 30 in the Los Angeles area Thursday, visiting a Hawthorne elementary school in hopes of persuading voters to support increases to the sales tax and income tax to help finance education from kindergarten through community college.

The initiative would increase the sales tax by a quarter-cent on the dollar for four years and raise the income tax on annual earnings over $250,000 for seven years.

Eighty-nine percent of the revenues from Proposition 30 would be devoted to schools from kindergarten through 12th grade and the other 11 percent to community colleges. The measure would also guarantee funding for public safety services realigned from state to local governments.

Proposition 30 would generate an additional $6 billion in state tax revenues from the 2012-2013 through 2016-17 fiscal years, according to an estimate from the state's Legislative Analyst's Office and Director of Finance Ana J. Matosantos. Smaller amounts would be generated in the 2017-18 and 2018- 19 fiscal years.

If the measure is rejected by the voters, "trigger cuts" would be made to the state budget.

Brown has called Proposition 30 "modest, fair and temporary." He said he has already made cuts to a wide array of programs, and if Prop 30 doesn't pass, more cuts will have to be made.

"I've cut welfare. I've cut the aged, the blind, the disabled, Medi-Cal, you name it," Brown said during his visit to Ramona Elementary School.

"We don't want to go any further. And that's why we qualified this measure with a million signatures to let people vote.

"That's the way it is. If people don't want to give us the money, we don't have the money, we cut."

The governor added, "If people want to say, 'No, those who have been most blessed should keep all they have and don't give any to the schools' then vote no, we suffer the consequences. I hope that's not the case."

Aaron McLear, a senior adviser with the No on Proposition 30 campaign, said that "instead of asking voters for more money, the politicians should cut wasteful spending exposed by the parks scandal, pay raises, bloated pensions they refuse to reform and a train to nowhere that we can't afford."

In the parks scandal to which he referred, the director of the California Parks Department resigned last month after state officials learned the department had $54 million in funds unreported to the state for a dozen years in the midst of warnings that 70 state parks would have to be closed because of budget cuts.

McLear said that if Proposition 30 passed, state spending would be at its highest level ever "including $381 million a year on a bullet train."

"That money would pay for 4,000 teachers each and every year," McLear said.

A second measure that would increase taxes to help finance education will also be on the Nov. 6 ballot.

Proposition 38 would increase personal income tax rates for 12 years for annual earnings over $7,316 using a sliding scale from 0.4 percent for the lowest individual earners to 2.2 percent for individual earning more than $2.5 million.

During the first four years, 60 percent of revenues would go to schools from kindergarten through 12th grade, 30 percent to repaying state debt and 10 percent to early childhood programs. Thereafter, 85 percent of revenues would go to schools from kindergarten through 12th grade and 15 percent to early childhood programs.

The increase would be roughly $5 billion in the 2012-13 fiscal year, $10 billion in the 2013-2014 fiscal year and tending to increase over time, according to an estimate from the Legislative Analyst's Office and Matosantos.

"Proposition 38 is better for public schools than Proposition 30," said Nathan Ballard, the communications director for the Yes on 38 campaign.

If both measures are approved by voters, the one getting the most yes votes would prevail.

Liz Spear (Editor) August 31, 2012 at 03:26 AM
Lots of public school districts are facing financial crises. Do you think either one of these propositions are a good idea? Would passing one of them help our public education systems in California? Are temporary fixes such as these justified? Why wouldn't you be OK with a slight increase in taxes to benefit future generations? It's only a quarter of a penny tax increase. What's so bad about that? Can't we all pitch in?
Soquel Creek August 31, 2012 at 03:50 AM
QUESTION: Are California's taxes too low compared to the other 49 United States? -------- CHART: California State Income Tax Rates and Proposition 30 Increases Compared to the MAXIMUM Tax Rate in 49 Other States http://www.twitpic.com/a68drw/full CHART: California State Sales Tax Rate and Proposition 30 Increases Compared to the State Sales Tax Rate in 49 Other States http://www.twitpic.com/a68e2d/full Governor Brown's Proposition 30 is the WRONG solution for the problems affecting California. VOTE NO on PROPOSITION 30. http://soquelbythecreek.blogspot.com/2012/07/california-proposition-30-governor.html
Travel August 31, 2012 at 07:34 AM
If MB Patch continues to post political issues as "news," I will cease to support them. I have relented once, but there will not be a next time. PLease post issues such as these as "opinion." This proposition will not help schools - it will help fund the teachers' pensions. I think we all know these pensions cannot continue as they have been crafted, If I thought this proposition would help my granddaugher's education, I would be all in. If someone has proof that this will help the children, not the pensions that none of us are eligible for, I would love to hear from you. For now, I am adamantly against this.
Frank August 31, 2012 at 08:10 AM
I cannot wait to vote against these propositions!!!!!!!!
Noel Park August 31, 2012 at 03:16 PM
I operate a small retail business and I am really sick and tired of being the state's tax collector. Brick and mortar businesses in CA that employ actual CA residents are getting killed by people buying out of state over the web to save the sales tax. Enough already! Find another way. I would support an across the board income tax increase before I would support this. Adding to the sales tax is just a way to try to avoid the political pain of advocating for an income tax increase.
Robert Alphenaar August 31, 2012 at 03:34 PM
Just to answer Soquel Creek's question (in case you do not want to follow the links, which you should). California has the _highest_ Income Tax AND the _highest_ Sales Tax. Also a high Property Tax rate (even with the "evil" Prop 13), the highest gas prices (except for Hawaii) and the worst business climate. Oh and let's not for get the ~10% parking tax, the ~15% hotel tax, shall I go on?
Ernest S. Cowell August 31, 2012 at 05:48 PM
What ever happened with ALL the Lottery dollars that were supposed to be for the schools. THERE HAS N E V E R BEEN A PUBLIC ACCOUNTING OF ALL THOSE MONIES. What say you all about demanding an accounting annually for ALL to see?!
Todd Shays August 31, 2012 at 06:26 PM
I will NOT be voting for these tax increases. Most of the money raised will be funding retiree benefits, not helping today's or future students in the classroom. Taxes are already way too high in this state and the compliance and tax burden on small business owners (like my wife and me) is extraordinary. What a sham.
Lightnapper August 31, 2012 at 06:27 PM
@Ernest...the politicians lied to us. So we elected them again. Then we crammed our schools with a bunch of anchor babies, and then their babies, and soon the babies of the babies' babies-- four abreast and a bun in the oven. Moonbeam needs us. We're a diversified and compassionate constituency. We need to represent El Norte Cali. Taxpayers are being asked to suck it up once again, to support the grand, socialist plan. For the children. For the good of mankind. For the universe. And this time the politicians swear they are telling the truth. Hope I cleared that all up.
Soquel Creek August 31, 2012 at 07:43 PM
Thanks, Robert Alphenaar. Regarding gas prices, California also is tied with New York for the nation's highest gasoline taxes and has the nation's 5th-highest diesel taxes. Both are over 30% higher than the national average. CHART: Gasoline Taxes by State http://www.twitpic.com/apbr64/full CHART: Diesel Taxes by State http://www.twitpic.com/apdmti/full
Andrea Lions September 01, 2012 at 02:01 AM
I will not be voting for this! California politicians need to learn how to spend ALL of the money they already over tax us for and reevaluate teacher and police pensions. We don't live in a time where we can spend like crazy as we used to in this state!
Kevin Epstein September 01, 2012 at 06:31 PM
The biggest issue with prop 30 (as with so many others) is that there's no guarantee that the money raised by increasing sales taxes will actually benefit schools in any way at all. Unfortunately prop 30 looks, feels, and smells like another government black hole for our tax dollars to disappear into. http://ballotpedia.org/wiki/index.php/California_Proposition_30,_Sales_and_Income_Tax_Increase_(2012)#Supporters

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