The opponents are misleading on all counts. Why? Because they are trying to protect a $700 million tax break for the wealthiest 1.2% of taxpayers that will hurt our schools, law enforcement, libraries and other local services.
They say taxes are too high. FACT: Cutting taxes for the top 1.2%--and no one else--means more of the tax load will be shifted onto ordinary taxpayers.
They call 217 a ''retroactive tax increase." FACT: 217 continues the top income tax brackets without change. Taxes due in April 1997 will be paid at the same rate as in April, 1996.
They say 217 ''hurts small business." FACT: There are millions of small businesses, but 217 affects a total of only 169,000 personal income taxpayers whose incomes average $488,000 per year.
They say taxes on the wealthy mean fewer jobs. FACT: The 11% top income tax bracket was established by Governor Reagan in 1973, and has been in effect for all but four years since. California has had enormous business expansion and job growth since 1973.
They say there are no guarantees for education. FACT: Proposition 98 and the California Constitution guarantee the revenues for schools. That's why parents and educators support Proposition 217.
They say 217 affects property taxes. FACT: It does, in one way only . It prevents the State from taking more property taxes from local governments. That protects public safety and other local services.
Consider the facts. Then, VOTE YES ON PROPOSITION 217.
President, California State Parent Teacher
Executive Director, California Tax Reform Association