2012 Elections: News, Analysis, Videos, and Breaking on the Presidential Election, Local Elections, and More

2012 Elections: News, Analysis, Videos, and Breaking on the Presidential Election, Local Elections, and More

Complete coverage of the 2012 election

Proposition 38 Would Earmark Income Tax Increases for Early Education

Elements of Prop. 38 could be implemented even if the measure’s rival, Prop. 30, gets enough votes to pass as well

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    NEWSLETTERS

    Molly Munger
    Civil rights attorney Molly Munger has invested millions of dollars in a ballot initiative seeking to raise income taxes to benefit public schools. The measure is competing with a tax initiative sponsored by the governor for voter support.

    Most Californians will chip in to aid the state’s struggling education system if Proposition 38 passes this election.

    The measure will increase tax for most Californians for 12 years, depending on how much income those taxpayers earn. It will generate about $10 billion annually in the first few years and grow over time.

    Revenue from the tax increase will go directly to schools, child care and preschool.

    CLICK HERE for an official analysis from the Secretary of State.

    Proponents of Prop. 38, including Pasadena attorney Molly Munger, emphasize the guaranteed funding the measure would provide the state’s struggling schools. They say it will prevent devastating cuts that deprive children of quality education.

    Opponents say the measure doesn’t do enough to reform the state’s education system, and that any tax increase will force businesses to cut jobs or move out of state.

    Others criticize the particular tax Prop. 38 would impose on low-income families. For example, those with a taxable income of as little as $7,316 would see a .4 percent increase in their tax rate, according to the Secretary of State’s analysis.

    CLICK HERE to see what each tax bracket can expect.

    Proposition 38 is hardly ever mentioned without a comparison to its rival, Proposition 30, the education measure backed by Gov. Jerry Brown.

    The difference between the two measures is that Prop. 30 would tax income on high-income earners, in addition to raising the sales tax.

    Prop. 38 would only increase income tax. Like Prop. 30 though, high income earners will see a higher tax rate increase.

    Another difference between the two is that the state cannot redirect the funds generated from Prop. 38’s tax. Prop. 30 funds will go into the state’s general fund, with a certain amount dedicated to schools and public safety.

    Prop. 30 has the advantage of state leverage. Six billion dollars in cuts proposed for 2012-2013 will not take effect if the measure passes. Many local school districts say those cuts will have effects on class sizes, programs, school days and other elements.

    If Prop. 30 gets more votes, it becomes law. If Prop. 38 gets more votes, but Prop. 30 also passes, there's a chance that the income taxes in Prop. 38 and the sales tax in Prop. 30 both become law.