WESTWOOD (CBSLA.com) — Gov. Jerry Brown Tuesday headlined a rally in Westwood to ask college students to support his tax hike initiative, which he claims would prevent more budget cuts to schools and universities.
The governor presented his case for Proposition 30 at the University of California-Los Angeles, where many students have suffered through whopping tuition and fee increases over the last four years.
"Proposition 30 is an opportunity for the people themselves, not only to fix California, but to send a message to the rest of the country that we as a people can invest together in our schools, in our community colleges, and in the great University of California," said Brown.
Under Brown's Nov. ballot measure, sales tax for Californians would increase by a quarter-cent for four years and the income tax would rise for those who earn more than $250,000.
Some of the revenue from the tax hike would then go to schools under Proposition 98.
Senior Jonathan Bash, a political science major at UCLA, said Brown's argument was persuasive.
"I've seen my tuition almost double. I'm already $20,000 in debt, and I have a year to go. This is one way we can prevent fee increases. It's going to go up 20 percent if we don't do anything," said Bash.
Aaron McLear, a consultant for the "No on 30" campaign, said Brown's proposition is built on a false premise.
He said there's no guarantee the extra revenue from higher taxes will go to schools and colleges.
"The idea that the governor, the legislative leaders, and the unions are holding a gun to voters' heads saying, 'This may not provide any more money to schools, but if you don't vote for this, we'll ruin the schools…' People don't like that message," said McLear.
Brown, however, had more to worry about than his opposition.
Apathetic students, for example, who said they're so busy, they don't have time to look at ballot propositions.
"I look at Facebook more than I would look at…I don't know the last time I watched the evening news," said Katrina Dimaano.
Brown responded to students like Dimaano, "My plea to you is don't be complacent. We can win. Proposition 30 can win. You can avoid the tuition hike if you get out…talk to people you know who may not be voting."
In recent weeks, Prop 30 has been taking fire from all sides, primarily in radio and television ads by the Howard Jarvis Taxpayers Association and the Proposition 38 campaign, a similar but competing measure.
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