Ballot measure: Proposition 30

Gov. Jerry Brown's measure would increase the state sales tax by a quarter cent for four years and raise personal income taxes on Californians who earn more than $250,000, or joint filers who make over $500,000.

The Howard Jarvis Taxpayers Association, which opposes the measure, is running a 30-second radio ad in major media markets. It features a carnival worker pitching Proposition 30 "snake oil." The ad also contains a message from the group's president, Jon Coupal.

What's the charge?

Coupal says in the ad: "Sacramento politicians are out pitching their Prop. 30 snake oil. But what Proposition 30 really is, is a massive tax increase they claim is for our schools. But even the California School Boards Association says the initiative provides no new funding for schools. None."

Is it true?

The ad is extremely misleading because it's aimed at making people believe Proposition 30 won't help schools. The California School Boards Association has endorsed the measure and urged all school districts to do the same, saying it would increase the amount of money going toward schools by $3.6 billion in the fiscal year ending in June. The association did say in a statement in May that the measure "does not provide new funding for schools," but the key word there is "new." The association was making the point that the tax revenue would merely restore previous funding that has been cut over the years to balance the general-fund budget.

-- Mike Rosenberg, Staff