Gov. Jerry Brown on Tuesday called Proposition 30, the sales and income tax increase initiative on the November ballot he supports, a path to ensuring students get the educations they deserve.
That’s why virtually every prominent educator in the state and business leaders are fighting for Proposition 30 to secure desperately needed funding for our public schools and colleges,” Brown said at Animo Leadership Charter High School in Inglewood, where he was joined by Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa.
Proposition 30 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. The increased revenues would result in an increase to the minimum guarantee for schools and community colleges under terms of Proposition 98, approved by voters in 1988.
Revenue generated by Proposition 30 would be deposited into a newly created state account, the Education Protection Account. Of the funds in the account, 89 percent would be devoted to schools from kindergarten through 12th grade and the other 11 percent to community colleges.
Each school district would receive at least $200 per student in funds from the account and each community college district at least $100 per full-time student. The measure also would guarantee funding for public safety services realigned from state to local governments, according to supporters of the measure.
“With Latino students making up more than half of California’s public school population, the Latino community has the most at stake if Prop. 30 doesn’t pass and our schools and colleges suffer another $6 billion in cuts,” Villaraigosa said.
“Now is our opportunity to make our voices heard and ensure our children have the education they need for good jobs and strong communities.”
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.
Brown has called Proposition 30 “modest, fair and temporary.”
Opponents of Proposition 30 say its passage would hurt small business and job creation, and the Legislature should first enact meaningful changes to the public employee pension systems and cut wasteful spending before raising taxes.
They also say that there is no guarantee that the measure will increase school funding, a point that a number of financial analysts say is true, but point out that the measure has the potential to free up money in the General Fund for other state services.
A rival measure, 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 individuals 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 will transform our public schools and provide all students with access to the programs and services they need to succeed,” said California State PTA President Carol Kocivar.
Opponents of Proposition 38 call it a “flawed, costly and misleading initiative” that would hurt small businesses, as many small business owners pay personal income taxes rather than corporate taxes. They also say the measure would do nothing to alleviate California’s current fiscal crisis.
If voters approve both measures, the one getting the most yes votes will prevail.