State votes to keep tax, saves SBCC from $2 million deficit



Senator Hannah Beth Jackson speaks to supporters at the Democrat election party on Tuesday, Nov. 8, at The Mill in Santa Barbara. Jackson is being reelected to her position as United States Senator for Calif.

Proposition 55, which supports public schools and community colleges statewide, passed in California.

Voters decided to maintain the support of their public schools with 3,260,979 or 61.7 percent in favor with 2,020,603 or 38.8 percent opposed as of 11:32 p.m. on Tuesday night with 45.5 percent of precincts reporting.

“It’s an important measure to help our schools provide the materials that they need to give students the education they deserve,” said Senator Hannah Beth Jackson, who was in the midst of celebrating her win.

The legislation taxes the wealthiest Californians to create revenue that goes towards teachers salaries, educational programs and healthcare. The revenue will also decrease the current deficit burden of City College.

Without the support of taxpayers, schools would have had to make serious cuts like they did at the peak of the great recession. A financially struggling City College could have been thrown into a $2 million deficit leading to faculty cuts.

“We’re looking at massive budget cuts that will filter up to City College,” said Daraka Larimore-Hall, professor of political science at City College, and chair of the Democratic Central Committee.

Daraka Larimore-Hall, chairman of the Santa Barbara County Democratic Party, congratulates Assembly Member Monique Limòn and Senator Hannah-Beth Jackson for their success in the election at the Democrat election party on Tuesday, Nov. 8, at The Mill Restaurant and Brewery in Santa Barbara.
Daraka Larimore-Hall, congratulates Assembly Member Monique Limòn and Senator Hannah-Beth Jackson for their success in the election at the Democrat election party.

Proposition 55 is an extension of Proposition 30 which expires in 2018. The proposition will maintain the imposed tax on households that earn over $250,000 a year.

The tax increases as the average taxpayer income increases, with taxes starting at 10.3 percent and capping off at 13.3 percent for individuals earning more than $1 million a year. In 2012 Prop. 30 passed with 55.4 percent of Californians in support of the hike.

Proponents of Proposition 55 expect a revenue increase of about $4-9 million depending on the economic climate. Tax money will be reallocated to support K-12 public schools, city colleges, and in some years healthcare. This revenue is put in place to prevent budget cuts that happened during the recession.

“I was a student when our teachers got pink slips, and when my friends couldn’t get classes at City College because of budget cuts,” said Izeah Garcia, president of UCSB’s Campus Democratic Club, “we need to maintain this tax.”

Opponents of Proposition 55 criticize it on the account that Proposition 30 was supposed to be temporary. It is also believed that there is a budget surplus and additional revenue is unnecessary at this point.

Critics of the legislation voiced concerns about the negative impact this tax will have on businesses, particularly small business owners whose enterprises income is included in their personal tax return. This legislation could potentially overtax individuals on income they are not actually receiving.

“I voted against,” said Steven E. Moore, president of Moore Worldwide. “The problem is that California already has really high taxes, so there is no need in increasing them.”