No on Prop 87 web site
Proposition 87: Bad Policy and Bad News
for California Schools
Contrary to the misleading propaganda put forth by Prop 87s sponsors, this $4 billion oil tax initiative means double trouble for our schools. The Legislative Analyst reports Prop 87 would reduce both state and local revenues funds that would no longer be available to our schools. The principal author of the states education funding guarantee (Proposition 98) and one of the states most respected education finance experts reports Prop 87 would rob schools of their fair share of new revenues.
If Prop 87 is approved, it would encourage other special interests to place measures on the ballot which circumvent the constitutional requirements of Prop 98, with serious consequences for our schools in the short and long-term -- an issue that should be of great concern to any organization that cares about schools and their funding in California.
John Mockler, Principal author of Proposition 98 states:
At a time when California school funding is already below the national average, Prop 87 will make matters worse. It could deny schools their fair share of up to $1.9 billion in new revenues over the next 10 years."
Elizabeth Hill, California State Legislative Analyst, reports that Prop 87 would result in a Reduction in Local Property Tax Revenues and Reduction in Income Tax Revenues.
Larry Reider, Superintendent of Education for Kern County, states:
We are concerned about the cycle of statewide ballot initiatives which constitutionally lock away funding in protected accounts, keeping educations fair share out of reach. We oppose Proposition 87.
Kevin Burton, Trustee, Fruitvale Unified Board of Education states:
Prop 87 would raise billions of new taxpayer dollars but not one penny is dedicated to K-12 schools.
Jose Luis Solache, Vice President, Lynwood Unified Board of Education warns:
Make no mistake. Prop 87 harms schools and would have a serious impact on Prop 98 funding in the future.
Prop 87 Reduces Education Funds
The states independent Legislative Analyst reports that while Prop 87 would place $4 billion of new tax revenue into a special fund, it will actually reduce the states general fund revenues. That means less money for schools. According to the Legislative Analyst, Prop 87s tax would be automatically deducted from corporate income taxes that currently go directly into the states General Fund and which contribute to educations fair share of the state budget under Proposition 98.
Prop 87 Exempts Itself from Prop 98 Requirements Robs Education of $1.9 Billion in New Funds
Our state Constitution (Proposition 98) requires that a portion of new state tax revenues be spent on schools, but Prop 87 exempts itself from that law, robbing education of its fair share of future revenues (Sec. 4(e) of Prop 87).
John Mockler, a leading expert in California education funding and the principal author of Proposition 98, pegs this loss of revenue to schools at approximately $1.9 billion over ten years. (For John Mocklers complete analysis, click here). http://www.nooiltax.com/pdf/Education_Funding_Impact.pdf
Reduces Local Property Tax Revenues That Support Schools
The Legislative Analyst also reports that property tax revenues in counties throughout the state will decline under Prop 87 in addition to state General Fund revenues. A portion of those property taxes due to schools will have to be reimbursed by the state, further reducing General Fund revenues. For some school districts, there would be no reimbursement from the state.
Billions of New Tax Dollars Not One Penny Dedicated to K-12 Schools
Prop 87 proponents point to one sentence in their 31-page initiative (Sec. 26050(a)) which says school districts with fleets may apply for funding to help convert their bus fleets to alternative energy technology, but provides no guarantee theyll get those funds. Thats it. And, what they dont tell you is that those school districts would be competing with any number of private fleet owners, private companies and individuals for the same pot of money.
And, those limited funds come at the expense of the state Education Budget as a whole which supports all school services, faculty and staff, and which the states Legislative Analyst reports Prop 87 will reduce. Hardly a fair trade-off for California schools.
Schools Would be Denied $1.9 Billion in New Revenues?
Actually, it could be more than that. While Prop 87 requires the new agency spend $4 billion, it places no limit on the tax increase. So, the new tax could go on indefinitely, providing billions upon billions for the new bureaucracy to spend, with not one cent of it going to K-12 classrooms. And, Prop 87 authorizes the new agency to sell billions in bonds they may not be able to repay, which could force a state bailout, taking away even more General Fund revenues.
No Representatives of K-12 School Community at the Table
Prop 87 authors wrote specific criteria for the career experience of the appointees who will decide how to spend the new money. One higher education representative is included, and higher education facilities are eligible for research funds. They also specified which state officials to include. But, not one representative from K-12 education community made their list to ensure any of the new funds go to K-12 school districts.
Higher Fuel Costs for School Districts
Despite Prop 87s sponsors promises, a $4 billion tax on California oil production will mean higher fuel costs. School transportation budgets are already stretched to the limit. Prop 87 would only make it worse.
No Requirement that All of Prop 87s New Taxes Be Spent in California
How can Prop 87 proponents promise economic growth in California, when the measure doesnt even require they spend all the new taxes in California, much less in the U.S.? The California Chamber of Commerce, California Black Chamber of Commerce, California Hispanic Chamber of Commerce, and small business associations throughout California oppose Prop 87.
Creates Huge New Bureaucracy, No Accountability,
No Requirement They Show Results
No one knows where Prop 87s $4 billion would go for sure. Its new state bureaucracy -- run by more than 50 political appointees -- has the power to write its own process for allocating all the money. Billions of dollars allocated outside the state budget review process and outside the normal checks and balances that govern other agencies.
Moreover, the new bureaucracy is authorized to spend additional taxes year after year after year, even if they are making absolutely no progress advancing alternative energy use or reducing petroleum use.
Thats a recipe for waste, not progress.