LOS ANGELES (CBSLA.com) — With less than two weeks before California voters head to the polls, Gov. Jerry Brown on Friday sought to bolster support for his sales and tax increase proposals.
KNX 1070′s Ed Mertz reports Brown is the architect of and chief campaigner for Proposition 30, which would increase sales taxes and boost income taxes for the richest Californians with the goal of balancing the state’s budget.
Brown along with other supporters of Prop. 30 – which would raise taxes on those making $250,000 and more and increase the sales tax by a quarter of a cent – have warned of catastrophic consequences if the initiative fails.
“This is not about politicians, it’s not about Sacramento,” he told KNX 1070. “It’s about the kids, the schools, our colleges and our universities.”
On Thursday, the governor told The Financial Times in an interview that California’s wealthiest residents had a “moral” obligation to shoulder more of the overall tax burden.
That argument has so far failed to persuade voters: the measure still has less than the 51 percent support it needs to pass on Election Day, according to a new Public Policy Institute of California poll.
Critics such as Jon Coupal, president of the Howard Jarvis Taxpayers Association, are concerned that there are no guarantees all or any of the tax revenue would ever reach the classroom.
“There’s absolutely no guarantee that a single dollar of it will go into the classroom,” Coupal said.
Brown would not deny that proceeds from the tax hike – which would be retroactive to the first of the year – would go into the general fund, but said it would cost the average Californian “a few dollars, not very much.”
“The cookie jar is empty,” Brown added. “We need to get some more in it.”