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Gov. Jerry Brown Kicks Off Tax Hike Campaign In Hawthorne

HAWTHORNE ( —Gov. Jerry Brown Thursday visited an elementary school in Hawthorne to kick off his campaign for Proposition 30, a new tax hike proposal.

Prop 30 would increase California's sales tax by one-quarter of a cent for four years. It calls for an increase in state income tax on taxpayers who earn more than $250,000 a year for the next seven years.

It also guarantees funding for public safety realignment programs, which includes the cost of housing state prison inmates in local jails.

The governor told parents, administrators and teachers at Ramona Elementary that his proposed tax hike would benefit education.

"What this is all about is investing billions of dollars in our schools and stopping the cuts," he said.

Some parents think it's a great idea.

"I'm sure the people that are making the higher money aren't going to like it, but if it's going to go for our schools, then I'm for it," said Susan Kearney.

Kris Vosburgh, the executive director of the Howard Jarvis Taxpayers Association, said the tax hike is a "dirty trick on taxpayers."

The Taxpayers Association was involved in passing Proposition 13 in 1978, which decreased property taxes in California.

"They're asking for more money, yet we're already the highest in the nation in state sales tax, we're second in income tax rates, and we've tied with New York for first in gasoline taxes. Even with Prop 13, we're 10th in the nation for taxes per habitable dwelling," said Vosburgh.

He said Proposition 30 does not guarantee the new tax money would go to schools.

Governor Brown, however, said a yearly audit would guarantee it.

"This tax measure goes into a special fund for our schools," he said.

California voters will have the last word on Election Day in November.


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