Prop 30 gaining statewide support

FRESNO, California

The state and local education system has taken a beating from struggling budgets over the past few years. In less than a week, we'll know whether Governor Jerry Brown's tax initiative, Proposition 30, will pass.

The prop would draw an additional six billion tax dollars into the state over the next seven years. Much needed money for the California State University system.

"If it fails, there's an immediate $250 million cut to our system, which translates into about $8 million for Fresno State, and would cause us to limit enrollment and we'd be a much smaller university in the future," said Fresno State President John Welty.

Some who oppose the tax hike said they're not against funding public education. Chris Mathys, with the Valley Taxpayer's Association, said his concern is with the language used in Prop 30. Mathys tells Action News funds will not directly funnel to schools -- as the governor claims.

"They're saying it's going to go to education," Mathys said. "But there's nothing in writing that says that it will be used for that. They use the word allocate, but allocate could be anywhere. It's general fund tax increase, general fund monies can be used for anything."

Fresno State's Alumni Association just announced its support of prop 30. The group's president, Clyde Ford, said he's usually against higher taxes. "As a fiscal conservative I'm not in favor of new taxes. But we've gotten to the point in California where we've got to support the schools."

While on a state level the majority of early voters favor prop 30, here in the valley, the majority have voted 'no' so far.

According to our exclusive poll, only 46 percent of voters favor the sales and income tax increase. But 48 percent are against more taxes. Just 5 percent remain undecided.

Proposition 30 would increase state sales tax by a quarter of a cent, and income tax on the highest earners.

The survey also shows women and voters in the 18-34 age range are the prop's biggest supporters.

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