Proposition 30, a Sales and Income Tax Increase Initiative, is on the November 6, 2012 ballot in California as an initiated constitutional amendment. In essence, Prop 30 increases taxes on earnings over $250,000 for seven years and sales taxes by ¼ cent for four years to fund schools, while also guaranteeing public safety realignment funding. The fiscal impact includes increased state tax revenues through 2018–19, averaging about $6 billion annually over the next few years. In 2012–13, planned spending reductions, primarily to education programs, would not occur.
Without a “yes” on Prop 30, schools and colleges face an additional $6 billion in devastating cuts this year, resulting in a possibly up to 15 furlough days added to the 2012-13 school year. Prop 30 is an initiative that prevents those cuts and provides billions in new funding for schools starting this year—money that can be spent on smaller class sizes, up-to-date textbooks and rehiring teachers.
Prop 30’s taxes are temporary, balanced, and are made to protect the well-being of K-12 school districts. “The school year is already too short. We have a very crunched year teaching in time with testing, IB assessments, and AP exams. Education should be valued,” stated a LQHS teacher.
Contrastingly, arguments in opposition to Proposition 30 include if Prop 30 is approved, California will be #1 in income tax rates. It will be 21% higher than the 2nd highest state (Hawaii), 34% higher than the 3rd highest state (Oregon), and higher than all the rest–including seven states with zero state income tax. It has also been noted that schools get all the funds only the first year and after that, the state government can use some at its discretion.
With many factors on the line, Prop 30 will be on the Election Day ballot November 6. A vote of “yes” or “no” by the public will ultimately decide the fate of K-12 school districts and students alike.