This is a breakdown of each CA Proposition as researched by Debra Dowdy. She has taken the time to research the facts as given by the Ballot Initiatives and information available on ballotpedia.org. At the end of the description, she and I give our vote for each Proposition. There is also a linkable list of Propositions at the bottom of the post. We hope this will help you learn more about these important initiatives. Please leave a comment with your thoughts and vote!
CA Proposition 55. Tax Extension to Fund Education and Healthcare.
Back in 2012 we voted on Prop 30 that increased the California income tax on high earners for seven years and added 0.25% to the sales tax. This initiative would allow the sales tax increase to expire, but extend the increased income tax for 12 years until 2030. This raised about $6 billion per year. 89% of the money was used for K-12 schools and 11% for community colleges. If there were any excess funds, the extra went to healthcare. This impacts about 1.5% of Californians and will raise between $4 and 9 billion per year depending on the economy and stock market.
Individual taxpayers who earn between $41,000 and $52,000 pay an 8% income tax. Prior to Prop 30, higher earners paid 9.3%. With the increase citizens making $52K to $263K pay 9.3%, $263K to $316K pay 10.3%, $316K to $526K pay 11.3%, and over $526K pay 12.3%. (California is among the states who have the highest state income taxes. What are we getting for our money?)
Supporters say, “The proposition would not raise taxes for anyone, and would lower the sales tax.” (Of course it won’t raise taxes, they were already raised.) They also say that, “Under Prop 55, all Californians’ sales taxes are reduced.” (That was the plan to begin with.) They say it will help restore the arts and music in schools. I don’t have kids in school anymore, but I’m unaware of an increase in these during the last four years the tax increase was in effect. Correct me if I’m wrong. My point is that the language is deceptive.
The opposition argues that this was supposed to be temporary and Sacramento is breaking their word on this. It’s also not necessary because we currently have a budget surplus of $2.7 billion. Finally, they say education spending has increased by $24.6 billion since 2012–a 52% increase. (I have not been able to verify that independently.)
Per our Constitution, over half of the State’s budget must go to the schools. Setting aside another income stream that can only be used for schools would force painful budget cuts in other areas when bad times come again. The school money cannot be touched.
The first initiative, Prop 51, looks to raise a $9 billion bond for schools. This initiative will raise $4 to 9 billion more. Is all this money really fixing anything?
Debra Dowdy is voting – No
Chris Dowdy is voting – No
Links to all other CA Proposition for the 2016 Ballot: