When Governor Jerry Brown took office in 2011, California faced an immediate budget deficit of $26.6 billion and estimated deficits of approximately $20 billion for years to come. The 2011 Budget addresses the immediate deficit by cutting billions in spending and realigning state public safety programs. This year, California’s deficit is down to $9.2 billion.
This year, the Governor has proposed a balanced approach of cutting spending even further, while asking voters to approve temporary revenue increases so we can prevent deep cuts to education and public safety, balance the budget and to pay down the state’s debts.
The California budget has suffered huge cuts in every program; from education to universities, from child care to seniors and from public safety to programs for the disabled and needy. This year, more than $4 billion in new cuts are being proposed. Without new revenue, an additional $5 billion in cuts to schools, universities and public safety will have to be made.
The Schools and Local Public Safety Protection Act of 2012 raises income taxes on the highest earners by 3%, with smaller increases on lower incomes. However, individuals making below $250,000 and families making below $500,000 will pay no additional income tax, so the middle class and poor are not impacted by the income tax increase. It also increases the sales tax by ¼ of 1% (still a much smaller rate than existed until July 2011).
- All these revenue increases are temporary, with the income tax provisions lasting 7 years and the sales tax provisions lasting 4 years.
- The initiative guarantees that new revenues will go to education, and requires that education funds be subject to a public audit when they are allocated, ensuring transparency in state spending.
- By making funds available to pay for Proposition 98, the initiative helps balance the budget and fund other important programs, including health care.
- In addition, the initiative confirms the 2011 funding mechanism for public safety realignment, guaranteeing in the Constitution funding for public safety at the local level.
We need all Californians who are registered to vote to sign the petition to put this initiative on the June ballot. Click here for instructions on how you and your friends and family can sign the petition.
Petitions must be mailed on or before April 27, 2012, so don't delay, sign today!