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Supporters Of Similar Calif. Tax Hike Measures In Attack Mode

LOS ANGELES ( —Two similar California tax hike initiatives might be defeated in November if supporters of both ballot measures continue to aggressively attack one another.

If passed, Proposition 30 and 38 would send billions of much-needed dollars to the ailing school system by increasing taxes.

But not everyone is convinced education will be the priority when the extra revenue comes in.

Los Angeles attorney Molly Munger, the author of Prop 38, said she doesn't believe Gov. Jerry Brown when he says money from Prop 30 will go to schools.

"I think you'd have to say I don't trust them on school funding," she said.

USC education professor Lawrence Picus said Prop 30 would put money into the state's general fund—but that doesn't mean schools won't see any cash.

"A lot of it then goes to education because Prop 98 would require that it does, and that's how they set up the budget," he said.

In contrast, Picus said Prop 38 specifically directs revenue towards education.

"Sixty percent goes directly to schools," he said.

However, KCAL9's Dave Bryan reports schools could temporarily face billions of dollars in cutbacks if Prop 38 wins on Election Day because the funds won't kick in until the following budget year.

In the end, Picus said negative attack ads on television could sink both propositions.

"When things get confusing, our voters tend to turn them down, and tend to vote no," he said.

Here is a breakdown of what each measure has proposed:

Proposition 30 would…

  • raise the state income tax rate for the highest-earning Californians for seven years.
  • raise the state sales tax for residents by 1/4-cent for four years.
  • send up to $3 billion to K-12 under the current school funding formula.
  • raise about $6 billion/year in extra revenue.
  • send more than $5.5 billion to close the state budget deficit.

Proposition 38 would…

  • raise the state income tax rate for nearly all California taxpayers.
  • send about $6 billion to K-12.
  • raise about $10 billion/year in extra revenue.
  • make about $3 billion available to help close the budget gap.

Both ballot measures can't pass in November. The proposition that gets the most votes will go through.

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