Propositions 30 and 38: A Comparison
Voters are apt to be confused by two competing tax measures on the November ballot, Propositions 30 and 38. Both grew out of a desperate need to do something about devastating state budget cuts, particularly to our schools, and both will raise new tax revenue. However, only one initiative was developed to gain a consensus from a broad spectrum of competing interests. And only one will help schools AND other essential government services avoid crippling blows from the budget ax. That initiative is Proposition 30.
Proposition 30 combines an increase in state income taxes on the highest earners with a modest increase in the state sales tax to enable the state to avoid across-the-board budget cuts that would have a ruinous effect on schools, universities, services to the disabled, and public safety. Proposition 30 not only provides an increase in the baseline Prop. 98 funding for schools, it also guarantees funding for public safety services realigned from the state to local governments. Proposition 38, on the other hand, is focused almost exclusively on K-12 education. While it allows for some pay-down of the state debt, Prop. 38 would do nothing to fund California's once-vaunted university system, which has seen its state funding cut by 50 percent in the last ten years.
Proposition 30 is supported not just by schools but by a wide range of those who want a solid fiscal future for our state -- nurses, police officers, health care groups, as well as a wide-ranging collection of business groups and corporations. Whereas Proposition 38 was put together by a well-meaning millionaire, Proposition 30 was crafted over years by diverse groups who put their individual interests aside to do what is best for our state. That's why it's important to vote YES on Proposition 30.