Why are taxpayers paying more in taxes while local services keep getting cut?
The answer is clear: each year since 1993, the Governor and Legislature have taken billions of property tax dollars from local governments to help balance the state budget.
At the same time, they intend to give a tax break to the wealthiest 1.2% of taxpayers, instead of restoring local services.
That's why the people put Proposition 217 on the ballot.
PROPOSITION 217 STOPS AN UNFAIR TAX BREAK.
Unless Proposition 217 passes, the two top brackets on the state income tax will expire this year. That means only the wealthiest 1.2% of taxpayers will get a $700 million tax cut.
PROPOSITION 217 IS NOT A TAX INCREASE: It merely keeps in place the two highest state income tax brackets that apply to families with taxable incomes over $230,000 and $460,000-- after taking all their deductions. These brackets, at 10% and 11%, would otherwise decline to 9.3%. That's the same rate paid by families with taxable income of $65,000.
No other taxpayers are getting a tax cut. Just the top 1.2%. This is especially unfair at a time when the gap between the wealthiest Americans and everyone else is getting larger.
PROPOSITION 217 PROTECTS OUR SCHOOLS.
California already has the most crowded classrooms in the country. The last thing we need is to be taking money away from our schools. Proposition 217 will ensure that up to $500 million will stay in school budgets rather than go to the wealthy in a tax cut.
By passing Proposition 217, voters will prevent any loss of revenues for our schools.
PROPOSITION 217 PARTIALLY RESTORES LOCAL REVENUES.
Since 1993, Sacramento has taken billions of dollars in local taxes from local services--and keeps on taking more.
The results? Parks close. Libraries close or cut back their hours. Criminals are let out of overcrowded jails. Child protection services are cut. Police departments are understaffed.
To make up for some of the losses, voters have passed sales taxes and local taxes, which fall on ordinary taxpayers.
Proposition 217 helps fill the gap, without a tax increase. After restoring funds that would be lost to schools, it automatically returns the revenues from continuing the top brackets back to local government.
Each local government will receive revenue in direct proportion to the amount taken away by the state. This revenue must go to schools and to restore local services in proportion to local losses.
Proposition 217 also prohibits the state from taking any additional property tax revenues away from local government in the future.
VOTE YES ON PROPOSITION 217.
Proposition 217 restores a little fiscal sanity to California. It simply continues tax rates already in place on the wealthiest taxpayers to protect our schools and restore more of the local funding the state took away. That means restored funding for public safety, for parks, for libraries, and for child protection, all of which have suffered since 1993.
President, California Federation of Teachers
President, California Professional Firefighters