By Suzanne Potter, California News Service
February 7, 2016 (Los Angeles) -- Teams are hitting the streets gathering signatures for a ballot measure this fall that would extend part of Proposition 30, which raised income taxes on the wealthy and raised the sales tax by a quarter of a percent, then funneled the money to public education.
The sales tax expires at the end of this year and the income tax is supposed to be phased out in 2018. Joshua Pechthalt, president of the California Federation of Teachers, says the sales tax increase would not be renewed, which is a big change from the prior version.
"The Prop 30 extension would ask individuals making over $250,000 a year to continue pay a little bit more in personal income tax," says Pechthalt. "This would eliminate the bump up in the sales tax."
Prop 30 has raised about $6 billion a year so far. This new measure would extend the taxes on the well-to-do for another dozen years.
Pechthalt says Prop 30 money has allowed many schools to lower class sizes, restore counseling positions and extracurricular activities and begin to recover from the devastating cuts made eight years ago.
"While it hasn't made up for all of the cuts that were made during the Great Recession, it's gone a long way to improving public education in California," Pechthalt says. "It's also resulted in our community colleges being able to restore our classes."
While signature gathering begins today, the official announcement on the ballot measure will be rolled out on Wednesday.