SACRAMENTO, CA: Former Democratic Majority Leader and State Senator Gloria Romero, the first woman to ever hold that leadership position, penned a column that ran in 11 Southern California News Group papers on Sunday. In the op-ed, Senator Romero highlights how Prop 15 is “masked as one of those ‘feel good’ initiatives based on claims it’s about ‘increasing funding sources for public schools'” but in reality there’s no guarantee that any of the revenues will “trickle down ‘for the children’ in the classroom.”
Senator Romero, who also chaired the Senate Education Committee during her time in the State Legislature, highlights the negative impact that Prop 15 will have on small business owners, employment, families, communities and students already suffering under the COVID-19 shut down.
Highlights from Senator Romero’s column, “No tax increases until there’s education reform” are as follow:
“Californians are getting sucker punched by Proposition 15, a statewide ballot initiative on the November ballot. Appropriate for the Halloween season and ongoing pandemic, it comes to us masked as one of those ‘feel good’ initiatives based on claims it’s just about “increasing funding sources for public schools.
“In fact, there are no guarantees that any of the new revenues raised will ever trickle down ‘for the children’ in a classroom. Most likely, the new taxes will travel through a confusing labyrinth of line items set up to benefit bureaucrats and their pensions and perks before any tax dollars ever end up in classrooms.
“As a life-long educator, voters shouldn’t fall for this sugarcoated poison pill — especially at a time when Gov. Gavin Newsom continues to strangle our economy by ordering shutdowns of businesses, schools, and churches with constantly changing arbitrary reopening metrics…
“Prop. 15 will raise property taxes by $11.5 billion per year and force many small businesses — already struggling to survive under Gov. Newsom’s harsh shutdown orders — to permanently shutter, negatively impacting jobs, families and communities throughout the state…
“Small businesses drive innovation in California’s economy. Before COVID-19, immigrants started 42 percent of California businesses, according to Harvard Business School. Minority- and women-owned businesses are vital parts of the economy, with 25 percent of businesses owned by Latinos and 38 percent owned by women.
“These businesses will face a significant rent hike because neighborhood restaurants, bakeries, nail salons and other mom and pop businesses frequently cannot afford to own their property, so they rent.
“During the first few months of the COVID-19 lockdowns, the number of Latino business owners declined by 32 percent during the pandemic’s early months, and women-owned businesses fell by 25 percent, according to the Stanford Institute for Economic Policy Research. With the surviving businesses struggling to pay rent now, how will they afford a rent increase under Prop. 15?
“Yet, there’s no guarantee that the monies raised by this tax increase would even go into the classroom. Prop. 15, quite simply, is just another blank check to the same broken system that — when it finally trickles down to the schools— finances pay raises and pensions first. In a moment of sanity, even the California School Boards Association has refused to endorse it.
“Quite frankly, if Prop. 15 were really about the kids the new revenue would be tied to reform metrics, including giving parents the right to choose the best schooling option for their kids. A measure concerned about our kids could have been written requiring that state education funding truly follows the child regardless of where they go to school — including parental choices for homeschooling, charter schools, and faith-based options…
“It’s time to vote No on Prop. 15. Do it for the kids.”
ABOUT NO ON PROP 15 – STOP HIGHER PROPERTY TAXES AND SAVE PROP 13
No on Prop 15 – Stop Higher Property Taxes and Save Prop 13, a bipartisan coalition of homeowners, taxpayers, and businesses, has been fighting to protect Prop 13 and oppose a split-roll property tax for more than a decade. For more information, please visit www.NOonProp15.org.