Valley residents take advantage of Saturday voting

November 3, 2012 12:00:00 AM PDT
Fresno County voters had a chance to cast their ballots early Saturday. Several people took advantage of Saturday voting at the elections department in Downtown Fresno.

A cramped call center is a hub to get voters to give Proposition 30 the green light come Election Day.

"I think we are at a crisis and I think we are at a critical point where we are having to make some tough decisions," Venise Curry said. "We can choose to fund education and make sure we are trying to educate our students or we can sit on the sidelines as our schools decline."

Curry is rallying people to vote yes on 30. The measure is Governor Jerry Brown's initiative to help close the state's budget deficit by raising the state sales tax by a quarter cent for four years. Income taxes will also rise for those making more than $250,000 for seven years.

"If you are making over $250 thousand dollars you probably got a pretty good education in order to be able to do that," Curry said. "What we want is to make sure every student has that same opportunity."

The latest field poll shows 48 percent of voters support the initiative while 38 percent are against it. 14 percent are undecided.

Chris Mathys with the Valley Taxpayer's Coalition is voting no on 30. He says the proposed hike won't only supply education but will also funnel money towards the general fund.

Mathys said, "It's unfair to hold education hostage and really the mismanagement is not in education, it's in a lot of other areas in California."

Mathys and other opponents say increasing taxes will drive out investors and hurt the economy.

"If we want to keep Californians happy and keep people employed we have to have a friendly business environment, increasing a sales tax is not the answer," Mathys said.

With only three days to go, both sides are hoping a last minute push will change the minds of the undecided voters.


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