In a 3-2 vote, the Board of Supervisors on Tuesday formally endorsed Proposition 30, a Nov. 6 ballot measure that would raise income tax on those making more than $250,000 annually and increase sales taxes by one-quarter of one cent.
"Voting no on Proposition 30 is playing with fire for the state of California," said Supervisor Zev Yaroslavsky, who, along with Supervisor Gloria Molina, recommended the endorsement.
Supervisor Mark Ridley-Thomas also supported the endorsement, while Supervisors Don Knabe and Michael Antonovich dissented.
In an email to constituents, Knabe, who represents the Palos Verdes Peninsula in his fourth district, said, "While Proposition 30 does include the constitutional amendment I have been fighting for to guarantee funding for programs the state has dumped on counties, this is simply a temporary solution to a stagnant and systemic problem in Sacramento."
Knabe also called the proposition "a lazy effort to place the burden of the state's budget deficit on the tax-payer instead of on our elected-leaders to find a suitable solution to our state's fiscal crisis.
"Proposition 30 doesn't guarantee any new funding for schools and includes no reform to prevent a similar situation down the road."
The state's legislative analyst estimates the proposition would raise as much as $6 billion annually over the next four years, 89 percent of which would go to K-12 schools and 11 percent to community colleges, according to the language of the ballot measure. If not passed, $6 billion in service cuts—resulting in a decrease $457 per student funding in Palos Verdes Peninsula Unified School District—would be needed to balance the state budget.
Antonovich argued that the state's already high sales tax was driving businesses out.
"We have one of the highest sales tax in the United States," Antonovich said, "and as a result of that, we've had a major loss of jobs."
The measure would increase income taxes on annual earnings over $250,000 for seven years and increase sales taxes by one-quarter of one cent for four years.
It would also guarantee funding for public safety realignment, which has shifted responsibility for monitoring parolees and jailing low-level offenders from the state to county governments.
"Without it, we're in trouble," Molina said of the guarantee.
In an interview with Los Angeles Times columnist Steve Lopez, Palos Verdes Peninsula Board of Education member Vanden Bos said he had decided to support both Proposition 30 and Proposition 38. The latter, which would raise income taxes on almost all Californians, was proposed by attorney Molly Munger.
If both measures pass, the one with the most votes will take effect.
If neither passes, "we're talking about going off the cliff, not just in our district, but every district in California," Bos told Lopez. At risk could be athletics funding and music and arts programs. Local elementary schools may share principals, Lopez wrote in his article.
Prior budget cuts forced the elimination of 60 percent of athletic funding, library aids, tech aids and a Chinese-language program, among others. The district only has one librarian for the 17 schools, and some janitorial positions have also been eliminated.
—City News Service contributed to this report.