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Proposition 38 on the November state ballot would increase tax rates on most Californians until 2025, mostly to fund public education. Supporters of the proposition say that unlike rival tax initiative Prop. 30, Prop. 38 earmarks money specifically for schools. Critics call the measure an unfair tax hike on the middle class that will do nothing about the deep funding cuts already looming for education.

Guests:
Carol Kocivar, president of the California State PTA and a supporter of Prop. 38
Darrell Steinberg, California State Senate president pro tempore and an opponent of Prop. 38

  • Robert Cook

    I will be voting against both of these propositions. I don’t have kids and yet every election cycle I get hit with another education tax. If additional funding is needed then the parents, the people who are accessing these services, need to step up. Decrease the per child tax credit instead of imposing a blanket sales tax

    • Guest

      Children tend to grow up and become employees, employers and tax payers themselves. Funding and supporting education is everyone’s responsibility.

      • Well put Christine. Robert is being very short-sighted on the matter.

  • Guest

    I used to teach in LAUSD, but among other things, got tired of layoff threats every year. My former colleagues and the students of LA are now suffering 15 furlough days. They tell me that they have been told if Prop. 30 doesn’t pass, that will turn into 30 furlough days next year. Who in the world would want to continue teaching under these conditions?

  • Guest

    Yep, go ahead and vote yes on 38….make K-12 a bit better and appease the PTA. The kids who benefit will then have nowhere to go after they graduate high school because the community college and CSU systems will be eviscerated.

    • guest

      If 38 wins, the budget would be renegotiated to account for the additional funds for K-12, freeing funds for higher education.

      • Guest

        Yes, that’s one theory. I agreed with the guest who described Prop 38 as “aspirational”. Aspirational notions are great for posters in classrooms. They make people feel good. I don’t like aspirational notions on my ballot. Prop 30 says what it is, not what it might be if everything goes well. Things rarely go well when it comes to legislative negotiations.

  • Bob Fry

    Steinberg hasn’t produced an honestly balanced budget ever since he was Senate Pro Tem. He didn’t care about education or a balanced budget when he joined the HSR train and enthusiastically twisted arms to release $6 billion in bonds, with their associated debt interest, for a useless train. We’re simply tired of dishonest state government that thinks voters are senile.

  • Guest

    Supporters of this Prop should address the fact that sales taxes (which will increase with in Prop 30) are VERY regressive: hitting low income foks, while income taxes (which this Prop focuses on) are more progressive.

    • Edited out

      • Turns out that prop 30 includes both a sales tax and an increased income tax (particularly for those making more than $250,000).

    • 99to1

      That’s a very good point, and it has not been adequately emphasized in the discussion. I’m highly annoyed that Gov. Brown has chosen to resolve the budget deficit with regressive sales taxes, rather than go after the huge amount of money sheltered in the upper 2% income brackets. Seems to me that the Governor and the Legislature are afraid to upset the upper classes and have instead chosen a strategy of undermining a direct initiative to tax the rich who pay too few taxes in proportion to their wealth and ability to pay.

      • Actually, I just looked at the Official Voter Information Guide I received in the mail and Prop 30 also includes taxes on income, in particular in 4 tax brackets after the $250,000 mark for income.

        The original commenter made it seem like it was just a sales tax, but according to the guide Prop 30 includes both.

      • Page 13 in the Official Voter Information Guide has the chart showing the tax brackets and the Marginal Tax rate increases that Prop 30 would impose. Hope that helps.

  • Jeanne

    I lived my whole adult life in California except for two years, 2010 to 2012 when I lived in Maryland. I loved the feeling of being in a state that was one of the top three in education and returned to CA to reassume the shame at being part of a state at one of the bottom three places. I’m so old that even my grandchildren are out of school so I have no personal gain except as a citizen who prefers to live with educated people. I may vote yes for both 30 and 38.
    Jeanne Robinson,
    Oakland
    jeannesr602@gmail.com

    • Doesn’t that leave the choice to others then? I was under the impression that if both prevail only the one with the most votes could be enacted under the State Constitution.

      The sad truth is that both of these cannot pass in the same election. I think the better solution is to pass the one that has immediate action now (prop 30) and support prop 38 in the next election.

      • Guest

        Which part of Brian’s statement that “Which ever prop wins with more votes will be the prop that is enacted” didn’t you understand?

    • Brian Feetham

      Realize that since both props raise taxes, only 1 will be enacted. If, for example, 2 propositions propose to raise the income tax, one by 2% and one by 3%, they will not combine and raise the income tax by 5%. Which ever prop wins with more votes will be the prop that is enacted. Considering that if prop 30 fails, $5 billion+ will be automatically cut to k-12 and an additional $250 million will be cut to higher education, that is a huge chunk out of several different programs which are already struggling which prop 38 would be hard pressed, nigh impossible, to overcome.

      • guest

        Source, please?

  • Michael Quattro

    i’m also voting against all tax increase until we get the politicians to wean themselves off the public dole. California has a Spending issue not a Revenue issue. The parks department scandal shows that the legislature and the the senate don’t know where the money is or how to spend it!!

    • Brian Feetham

      Then lets defund the over inflated prison systems, rework the 3 strikes rule, and repeal the death sentence, because prisoners on death row cost an ADDITIONAL $90,000 per year, ON TOP of what a normal inmate costs. Take into account how rarely death-row inmates are actually put to death and how often they appeal and the amount of legal fees and litigation fees and cost of court hearings, and the price of keep death-row inmates on death-row forever becomes astronomical. If you want to tell the government to do more with less, why don’t you tell them to give less to inmates and criminals rather than students and teachers?

      • CA education stinks

        hmmm The courts do not have to give out the death sentence if they want to save the State some money. I approve of the death sentence.

  • Marci Montgomery

    I’m honestly undecided. I’ve seen firsthand that students can’t graduate from state colleges when seeking a popular degree like business, because they can’t get their classes. However, I’m curious why our state isn’t more efficient with its spending, given that we are among the highest taxed states in the nation.

  • 99to1

    Would someone please explain why these two propositions are mutually exclusive. What’s the basis for this forced either/or? Why can’t the voters have both?

    • I believe it comes down to the State Constitution which views them as competing measures since they are both a tax on the people. Pretty silly when you think about it. The only way to have both, it seems, is to pass one this year and vote again on the second one in the next election cycle.

      • 99to1

        Well, I’m going to have to delve into the ballot pamphlet arguments to try to wrap my head around this. I don’t understand how measures that are allegedly in violation of the state constitution managed to get approved for the ballot in the first place. I think proponents of both measures really flubbed the opportunity to clear up this question. Clearly, this cloud of doubt overhanging both issues is not in the interest of either. It’s well understood that when confronted with doubt, voters overwhelmingly choose NO.

        • Just started reading the Official Voter Information Guide myself and it’s a handful. 🙂

        • Brian Feetham

          Under the state constitution, if 1 proposition proposes a tax increase of 2% and another proposes a tax increase of 3%, only one will be enacted. Both props may have passed, but they will not be combined to create a 5% tax increase. So only 1 will increase taxes, and which ever prop got the most votes is the one that wins.

    • Kenji Yamada

      The state constitution is one reason, but according the voter guide from the Secretary of State, “[Props 30 and 38] state that only one set of tax increases goes into effect.” Infobox on page 14 if you have it handy.

  • Guest

    Steinberg is disingenuous by saying that this is a tax “on everyone” while Prop. 30 is not, because it’s actually Prop 30’s SALES taxes that are a tax on everyone, including the very poor, who have to buy many necessary non-food items (toiletries for example). Prop 38 exempts the lowest income since they don’t pay state income taxes. In fact if low income they work they get refunds for income taxes.

  • Sprague

    The current state of public school funding in California is both taxing and tiresome for parents. Constant calls to fundraise and volunteer are challenging for parents and educators alike. Let’s leave education to the professionals and better fund our schools for the long haul. I happily support higher taxation to better fund the public good.

  • jaydee

    Please correct the e-mailer’s comment that De Anza only charges $11/unit; the current fee is $31/unit. I know this because, as a parent of a De Anza student, I pay hundreds of dollars every quarter for a full time load + hundreds more for books.

    • Yup. And most courses worth anything are not just one unit. Usually they are 4 or 5 each (courses like a workout class are usually 1 unit).

    • Brian Feetham

      As someone that has taken at least 1 community college course since 2006, I can honestly say that tuition has never been below $26/unit since I started attending colleges, and I’ve attended 5 different community colleges. People neglect to take into account the fact that most classes are 3 units and many sciences and languages are 5 units. At $31/unit, that’s $155 for 1 class, and full time tuition is 12 units per semester, which is $372. Don’t even mention the UC and CSU system, which is having to turn away California students in some programs because in-state students don’t pay enough money to break even.

    • guest

      the actual comment was “$11/per unit hour”

  • Chemist150

    Too bad the taxes won’t go to schools. They’ll go to “safety” costs. If all the money promised to go to schools actually went to schools, we would not have this issue. Vote NO on these.

    • Stephenson Gilberto

      There are 6 billion dollars in trigger cuts set to hit public education. Both of these measures seek to raise revenue to fill that gap. Our choices are between maintaining the insufficient underfunded status quo in education or making things even worse. Lesser evilism at work, but as usual the lesser evil is the preferable “option.” Prop 30 funds K-12, CC and state universities. Prop 38 leaves CC and State out in the cold. We need one to pass or expect CA to fall to dead last in national school rankings.

  • The new tax from Prop 38 is so significant that KQED can’t get the actual numbers straight in the table above. The tax increase will be the percentage listed Plus additional $$$. Example: a couple making $90K will pay $368 plus the 1.6% over $48K
    The crux of the matter is – where’s all the money going now? Again and again they come for more, yet the improvements never happen. Remember how the lottery was going to fix the schools? How about all the previous bonds, taxes, etc?
    Enough already! No on Prop 38

  • Prop 38 simply gives the legislature a new pile of our tax dollars, so they can keep overspending on the rest of the budget to pay back the special interests. If you want the legislature to spend more on our kids then vote out the ones there now and elect non-politicians who aren’t beholden to special interests.
    As a note, the tax table listed in the article above is wrong – it only lists the percentage of the tax increase, but there’s also a portion tied to the bottom of your taxable bracket.
    Do our schools need help? Yes! But the answer isn’t crushing our economy to blindly send more and more money. The answer is better leadership from our elected state officials and school administrators, and 21st Century approaches to leverage what works.

  • guest

    In June, Brown signed SB 1039 to benefit Prop 30: all
    proposed constitutional amendments will appear first on the ballot, before any proposed initiated state statutes.
    The Munger measure is a proposed state statute and, as a result of this
    new legislation, her measure appears well after his measure.

    Political columnist Dan Walters: “…insular, arrogant and self-dealing governance.”

    In August, Senate Pro Tem Darrell Steinberg cut transmission of a scheduled televised broadcast of a Senate informational hearing, as required by law, on the tax initiatives, effectively blocking the public from observing the arguments and counterarguments along with factual information from the Legislature’s budget analyst about the key Propositions 30, 31, 38 and 39.

    To make the bill effective immediately without resorting to the need
    for a two-thirds vote to declare the bill an emergency statute, the proponents added a provision to allow them to use Proposition 25
    so that this maneuver would succeed.

    Proposition 25 permitted a majority vote to pass
    the budget and contained language that any bills providing
    appropriations related to the budget can pass by majority vote and take
    effect immediately.

    SB 1039 contained funding of $1000 for the Secretary of State to
    “implement” the requirements of the bill and then declared the bill is
    an appropriation related to the budget.
    Dan Walters: “…self-serving censorship, the sort of thing that one expects from tin-pot dictators, not from those who fancy themselves to be progressive civil libertarians.”

    On August 8, Senate President Pro Tem Darrell Steinberg cut transmission of a scheduled

    televised broadcast of a Senate

    On August 8, Senate President Pro Tem Darrell Steinberg cut transmission of a scheduled

    televised broadcast of a Senate informational hearing on the tax initiatives on the

    November ballot, effectively blocking the public from observing the arguments for and

    against Propositions 30, 31, 38 and 39.

    On August 8, Senate President Pro Tem Darrell Steinberg cut transmission of a scheduled

    televised broadcast of a Senate informational hearing on the tax initiatives on the

    November ballot, effectively blocking the public from observing the arguments for and

    against Propositions 30, 31, 38 and 39

    On August 8, Senate President Pro Tem Darrell Steinberg cut transmission of a scheduled

    televised broadcast of a Senate informational hearing on the tax initiatives on the

    November ballot, effectively blocking the public from observing the arguments for and

    against Propositions 30, 31, 38 and 39

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