Voters likely to pass Prop. 30

Victory for Proposition 30 — Gov. Jerry Brown’s tax measure intended to prevent massive cuts in state funding to education — looked likely Tuesday night as votes continued to be counted.

If passed, Prop. 30 would raise an estimated $6.8 billion in additional tax revenue, according to the Legislative Analysts Office, by raising income taxes on Californians earning more than $250,000 a year and increasing sales tax by a quarter percent for a seven-year period.

SF State President Leslie E. Wong expressed his relief at the voting public’s willingness to support Prop. 30.

“I am very pleased that the voting public decided that California’s future lies with reinvesting in education from the youngest students to university students,” he said.

He also expressed his gratitude to those who helped encourage voters on campus.

“Regardless of the outcome, I want to congratulate the campus effort to register over 4,000 new voters,” he said. “I hope we all appreciate the effort by SFSU to support our get out the vote effort. It made a difference. We will continue to focus on the student experience.”

Joseph Scimonelli, a 21-year-old history major, knew that Prop. 30 was important when he voted Tuesday.

“I want to be a teacher, so that will affect my future now, that’ll affect my career, that’ll possibly affect my children’s future. Definitely 30 is the most important one I voted for,” he said.

The tax measure was proposed as a response to drastic cuts to California’s higher education system over the last four years, California State University system spokesman Erik Fallis said before the election.

“We must maintain price, quality and access for students and if we open up the flood gates despite the cuts, the quality of education would suffer,” Fallis said. “We are just not designed to operate that way.”

Prop. 30 trailed early in the evening, causing some students such as 18-year-old cinema major Robert Higgs to worry that their votes wouldn’t be able to prevent further cuts to the CSU system.

“I voted ‘yes’ on 30,” he said. “I seem to remember being told that California usually doesn’t vote (‘yes’) on tax increases. So I’m disappointed but not surprised.”

Tahj Crockom, a 20-year-old business major, saw the taxes as necessary to supplement a system that’s suffered from so many budget cuts.

“School’s expensive, so we need help,” Crockom said. “Yeah, why not tax to help the students? Of course that’s common sense.”

Matt Saincome contributed to this report.