California’s battling tax hike initiatives

December 12, 2011

Californians overwhelmingly support raising taxes to support public education, but three such competing initiatives could be defeated because of voter confusion. [LosAngelesTimes]

Funding for California’s public school system ranks 42nd among states in student spending. In addition, university students face rising tuitions, diminishing class ability and larger student to teacher ratios.

The majority of Californians favor increasing taxes if the monies are used to support public education.

“Last month, the USC Dornsife/Los Angeles Times poll found that 64 percent of state voters favored increasing funding for schools even if it meant raising taxes, while just 32 percent opposed the idea Californians seem to have had it with the underfunding of their schools,” the Los Angeles Times said.

Even so, with three proposed tax-hike initiatives receiving funding by credible backers, if they all appear on the November ballot they could work to defeat one another.

Last week, Gov. Jerry Brown proposed an initiative slated to raise about $7 billion a year over the next five years, primarily for schools, through increasing income taxes on the wealthiest Californians and hiking the state sales tax by half a percentage point, the Los Angeles Times said.

A coalition headed by the California Federation of Teachers is promoting a second initiative that would raise about $6 billion a year, chiefly for schools, by raising taxes on wealthy Californians.

Education activist Molly Munger proposed a third initiative that would raise about $10 billion a year, chiefly for schools, by hiking the income taxes of all but the poorest Californians.

If the three similar proposals end up on the November ballot, the conflict could help promote a fourth proposal by billionaire investor Nicolas Berggruen that looks to fund schools by levying a new sales tax on services while slashing taxes for the richest Californians.


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10 Comments

  1. Mike says:

    I have 2 problems with raising taxes to spend more on education:
    #1 I don’t trust politicians to actually spend this money on education. They have lied to us in the past and I don’t trust them. They will find a way to use this tax increase to fund their union buddies somehow.
    #2 There is no evidence that raising spending on education increases quality of education.

    If they are serious about wanting more money for education try this: No welfare for illegal aliens and cut off welfare for anyone on it more than 5 years.

    (15) 21 Total Votes - 18 up - 3 down
    • MaryMalone says:

      MIKE: “#1 I don’t trust politicians to actually spend this money on education. They have lied to us in the past and I don’t trust them. They will find a way to use this tax increase to fund their union buddies somehow.”

      ——————

      ***If you use the excuse of not trusting politicians to spend money on what they say they are going to spend it on, then you can’t support spending by politicians at all. It seems to me that watchdog groups find it easier to follow the spending if it is supposed to be for a specific category or purpose. But perhaps my experience is unique…or perhaps you have more experience in that venue.

      ***Give it a rest on the unions already. Lobbyists for all special interests have their foot in the door. That is a fact. Unless we can completely overhaul the way government is conducted (and it would have to include the federal and local governments, as well), we have to deal with the incredible lobbyist influence on ALL issues. So if that is your reason for not supporting any of the three measures, then, to be consistent, you could not support ANY spending or measure proposing spending.

      (-7) 17 Total Votes - 5 up - 12 down
    • easymoney says:

      Spot on the mark, Mike…
      Every single election there is a bond measure or some other funding mechanisim to bring in more more for the schools. Yet in all of these and the LOTTO where the heck is all that money going? It sure isn’t going to fix the antiquated school rooms, it sure isn’t going for text books and additional programs.
      IMHO, it is being squandered by the school boards and admin…

      (8) 12 Total Votes - 10 up - 2 down
      • Typoqueen says:

        You bring up a good point [for once :)]. A lot of money does get squandered by school boards and admin. We elect people on these boards that are responsible for budgeting millions of dollars. Nothing against waitresses but is a waitress qualified to run a school district (as in LMUSD)? Maybe, in some cases but I believe in most cases probably not. Then these board members hire their cronies/admin and they pay them too much.

        My point is that we elect people that don’t know what they’re doing and in some cases they run unopposed. LMUSD has made some terrible blunders over the years that has cost the tax payers and hurt our children. I feel that we need to just do away with these local school boards. Local school boards are just a simple stepping stones for political figures to step up the ladder. Almost all the people on these boards have political aspirations to move up and many have. We should have a mixture of people running our schools, from bean counter accountant types to psychologists (not like the shrink in the article).

        (-4) 8 Total Votes - 2 up - 6 down
    • Slowerfaster says:

      Your problem with spending more on education is that it would be discriminatory to you…in your eyes.

      (1) 1 Total Votes - 1 up - 0 down
  2. Typoqueen says:

    “billionaire investor Nicolas Berggruen that looks to fund schools by levying a new sales tax on services while slashing taxes for the richest Californians.”

    B@$&!@d, fat cat pig!

    (-1) 19 Total Votes - 9 up - 10 down
    • r0y says:

      “…while slashing taxes for the richest Californians who still remain. – there, fixed that.

      Don’t trust any of them, unions, billionaire investors, questionable pollsters, or government officials. Sorry, until proven otherwise, they are lying. How do I know? Their lips are moving and sound is coming out.

      (11) 13 Total Votes - 12 up - 1 down
    • Cindy says:

      I agree with Typoqueen 1000%

      Nicolas Berggruen = “B@$&!@d, fat cat pig!”

      (-1) 9 Total Votes - 4 up - 5 down
      • racket says:

        Looked briefly at Nicolas Berggruen on wikipedia.

        Is your problem with him that he is French? Or rich? Or that he prefers to support the arts rather than you?

        The wiki article seemed to indicate that he’s sort of a spoiled playboy. Other than envy, why are you bashing him?

        (1) 3 Total Votes - 2 up - 1 down
        • Typoqueen says:

          Did you not read my post or the article?

          Again, this is from the article:
          “billionaire investor Nicolas Berggruen that looks to fund schools by levying a new sales tax on services while slashing taxes for the richest Californians”

          That has nothing to do with being French or the other things you said. Although it is sort of disgusting when a billionaire wants to take all the burdens of his country off of himself and the other wealthy people and once again strap in on the backs of the middle class who are struggling to survive. I don’t envy him, he’s ugly inside and no amount of money can help him to have a conscience.

          (-3) 5 Total Votes - 1 up - 4 down

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