Proposition 38 is an end run around the legislature to fund K-12 education, child care and pre-school programs with funds from an increase to taxes paid on personal incomes at almost all levels, even low-wage earners.
The tax would be applied on a sliding scale, with most of the money coming from the state’s top 5 percent of wage earners, those earning $200,000 a year or more, who will see their tax rate go from 1.8 percent to 2.2 percent. The allocation of revenues would be automatic, and a five-member board would oversee expenditures.
While Prop 38 on its face might sound good to many voters concerned about funding for education, and those who don’t trust state legislators to adequately fund education, but it is one of the measures on the November where good intentions will hurt wage earners who can least afford the hit to their pocketbooks.
True, we believe that education is a worthwhile investment, but this proposition, backed by the California PTA and civil rights attorney Molly Munger is not the way to do it. For those earning $14,633 to $34,692 it would severely limit their spending for other necessities, such as housing, food, transportation, medical care and clothing.
With the state facing a huge budget shortfall, now is not the time to further encumber potential revenue for a single purpose, no matter how worthy it may be. Creating another level of bureaucracy, such as the 5-member board to oversee spending of revenues that would be generated, is a bad idea,
We believe any good that would be realized from adoption of this income tax increase is sure to be offset by the harm it would do to lower- to middle-income families.
We urge a No vote on Proposition 38.