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California Proposition 30: Taxes to Fund Education, Public Safety

Common Dreams staff

California Proposition 30: Temporary Taxes to Fund Education, Guaranteed Local Public Safety Funding

The Basics

Gov. Jerry Brown proposed California's Proposition 30, a constitutional amendment that, if approved, would increase California's sales tax from 7.25 per cent to 7.5 percent, and increase tax brackets for those earning more than $250,000. If approved, the amendment would generate $6 billion per year, with 89 percent of that revenue allocated to public schools and 11 percent to community colleges. According to the California Franchise Tax Board, the increased tax brackets would affect the top 3 percent of the state's taxpayers. The measure also guarantees funding for public safety services realigned from state to local governments.

A summary of the ballot from the California Secretary of State's office reads (pdf):

"This measure temporarily increases the state sales tax rate for all taxpayers and the personal income tax rates for upper-income taxpayers. These teem portray tax increases provide additional revenues to pay for programs funded in the state budget. The state's 2012-2013 budget plan—approved by the Legislature and the Governor in Jun 2012—assumes passage of this measure. The budget, however, also includes a backup plan that requires spending reductions (known as 'trigger cuts') in the event that the voters reject this measure. This measure also places into the state constitution certain requirements related to the recent transfer of some state program responsibilities to local governments."



Supporters of Proposition 30 argue that if the amendment fails, schools and colleges will face $6 billion in cuts already budgeted for next year.

"If we do nothing, the cuts will get deeper," the Yes on Prop 30 website states. "Prop. 30 stops the cuts, provides billions in new funding for our schools starting this year —supporting everything from smaller class sizes to afterschool programs."

Supporters include Gov. Jerry Brown, the League of Women Voters, the California Democratic Party and the California Teachers Association, among others.

As of Oct. 27, the "Yes on 30" campaign had raised approximately $62 million.

The "Yes on 30" Facebook site is here.


Opponents of Proposition 30 say the measure would equate to a $50 billion tax hike, that the new revenue "would be available for a wide range of purposes — including funding existing state programs," and that all Californians would pay the increased sales tax, not just the wealthy.

Opponents include the Howard Jarvis Taxpayers Association, Americans for Responsible Leadership, the National Federation of Independent Business California and the Small Business Action Committee, among others.

As of Oct. 27, the Stop Prop 30 campaign had raised approximately $42 million.

The Stop Prop 30 Facebook page is here.


Public Polling on Michigan's Veto Referendum on the Emergency Manager Law

10/14-10/21 Public Policy Institute of California 48% 44% 8%
10/11-10/15 Reason-Rupe     50% 46% 4%
10/7-10/10 California Business Roundtable 49.5% 41.7% 8.8%

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