Gov. Jerry Brown launches Prop. 30 campaign


But Brown faces an uphill battle in convincing voters to approve a tax hike, even a temporary one.

After touring a classroom in Hawthorne, Brown went before an audience of reporters to tout the virtues of the proposed temporary tax hike. Brown is hoping the tax increase will raise $6 billion over the next several years, with most of it going toward local school districts.

"If we don't have the money we can't spend it on schools, we are in a hole," he said.

Proposition 30 goes before voters in November. It would increase the sales tax by 1/4 percent for four years to a total of 7.5 percent. It would also increase the income tax for people making more than $250,000 a year, going from 9.3 percent to 10.3 percent for seven years.

"I say, put people to work, and fix our schools and let people who are most blessed pay one or two or three percent, that's the story," said Brown.

Critics say Brown should focus on cuts, not more taxes.

"We need to make the dollars that are up here, treat them as precious as they are, and make those dollars stretch just as every family has to do across the state," said State Sen. Tony Strickland, R-Thousand Oaks.

Some voters feel like the tax increase is unnecessary.

"We pay enough taxes in California as it is, so where does it stop?" said Nathan Au of Monterey Park.

Several polls show a majority of voters do not support Prop. 30, but many parents say it's the only way to ensure a quality education.

"I know with funding from Prop. 30, they'll be able to get teacher's assistants back in the classes, they'll be able to rehire teachers. My school will be able to have a nurse for my son in case he gets sick," said Dana Johnson of Hawthorne.

Brown says he hopes Californians step up to support Prop. 30. Otherwise, he says school districts will have little choice but to make more cuts.

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