Prop. 30 tax increase for education funding passes
UPDATE (9:21 A.M.): With 100 percent of the precincts reporting, Proposition 30 passed with 53.9 percent of the vote in favor while 49.6 percent voted against the measure.
The fate of California’s education system remained undecided as of midnight Tuesday, with 50.4 percent in favor and 49.6 percent against Proposition 30.
The 2012-13 general fund budget puts several trigger cuts into effect if Proposition 30 does not pass, including $250 million to both the Cal State University and University of California systems, $5.4 billion from community colleges and K-12 education, and substantially smaller cuts to other government programs.
“Lets raise our taxes for our kids and schools,” said Gov. Jerry Brown, Tuesday. “I thank and acknowledge everyone who supports that – it’s a wide coalition that doesn’t normally agree.”
Nearly half a million students enrolled in the California State University system will endure a 5 percent tuition increase if the proposition does not pass, as voted by the board of trustees Sept. 19 in an 11-3 vote.
If Brown’s tax initiative does pass, CSU students will receive a rebate from the 9 percent tuition increase they endured during the 2011-2012 academic year. Students that have graduated will receive a check for $250, financial aid will be altered to reflect the change for students who receive it and returning students will receive credit for the following semester.
The measure, supported by the California Faculty Association, California Federation of Teachers, CSUN’s own Associated Students, and several other education groups would charge an additional quarter cent sales tax for four years and will increase the personal income tax for individuals who make more than $250,000 a year, from 9.3 percent to as much as 12.3 percent, according to the Legislative Analyst’s Office.
Joshua Pechthalt, president of CFT, said Proposition 30 does not solve all our problems, but it is a step in the right direction.
“My daughter’s school (a public junior high) hasn’t had a full school year for the last five years, and if Proposition 30 doesn’t pass she will lose another three weeks,” Pechthalt said.
LAO estimated this could bring in an additional $6.8 billion in annual revenue. Funds would be kept in the newly created Education Protection Account, which would supplement the 40 percent of the general fund budget that must be allocated for K-12 and community colleges, due to a constitutional amendment made by Proposition 98 in 1988.
Prominent opposers of the tax include National Federation of Independent Business, the Small Business Action Committee and the Howard Jarvis Taxpayers Association.
Issues with the way California’s legislature allocates money and has increasingly chosen to defund education is a key argument against Proposition 30.
“From our perspective, the defeat of (Proposition) 30 will hopefully spur the legislature to do what they should have been doing for the last 15 years, which is to prioritize spending and deal with the waste issues, or luxury items, including the high-speed rail,” said Jon Coupal, president of the Howard Jarvis Taxpayers Association.
The board of trustees will vote Nov. 13 and 14 on three additional fees, never officially declared contingent on Proposition 30.
The graduation incentive fee would add $372 per-unit for students taking more than 150 units; the course repeat fee would charge $100 per-unit for any repeated courses and the third tier tuition fee would add a $200 per-unit charge for students taking more than 18 units.
A.S. passed a resolution against all three fees Friday.