Support for Proposition 30 slips in poll, but majority of California voters still support it

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A majority of California voters still support Prop 30, the ballot initiative to temporarily raise taxes to pay for public education. But that support continues to slip. That’s the result of the latest USC/Los Angeles Time Poll out Friday.

The poll says that 54 percent of California voters still support Gov. Jerry Brown's plan to temporarily raise sales and income tax to prevent cuts to schools next year. But that’s a far slimmer lead than Prop 30 enjoyed in March — when 64 percent of voters said they agreed with the plan. And just 33 percent opposed it.

The one bright spot in the results is the growing intensity of support for Prop 30. In March, 37 percent of voters strongly favored it — that’s grown to 41 percent.

“Intensity matters in a ballot issue and who votes,” said pollster Stan Greenberg.

Greenberg is the CEO of Greenberg Quinlan Rosner, the Democratic polling firm that conducted the poll with Republican polling firm American Viewpoint from Sept. 17-23.

The poll also found that 52 percent of voters oppose Prop 38 — Molly Munger’s plan to temporarily raise income tax on most Californians to pay for public education, while 32 percent of voters support it.

That doesn’t bode well for Prop 38, said poll director Dan Schnur, who also heads the Unruh Institute of Politics at USC.

“It’s very rare to see support for an initiative grow as the campaign goes on,” Schnur said.

Prop 30 would raise the state income tax on those earning more than $250,000 a year for seven years and increase the sales tax by a quarter of a cent. The revenue, an estimated $6 billion a year, would flow to the state’s general fund to prevent $6 billion in cuts to public education next year and to fund schools going forward, as well as public safety.

Prop 38 would temporarily raise income taxes on most Californians on a sliding scale for 12 years. The revenue, an estimated $10 billion a year, would go to fund schools, including community colleges, and early childhood programs. A portion of revenue would be used to pay down debt.

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