As I travel up and down the state talking to small business owners, working families and Californians of every stripe, I hear them utter the same words:

That’s why Proposition 30’s proposed $50 billion tax hike is a sham and voters should flatly reject it this November.

Prop 30 makes bad matters worse for already overtaxed Californians

Californians already pay the highest statewide sales tax and the second highest income tax rate in the nation and Prop 30 will increase both of those.  We also have the second highest gas taxes in the nation, soaring energy costs, and property tax rates that are in the top third of the country.  Prop 30 just digs a deeper hole for already struggling and uncertain taxpayers – one from which they, their children and grandchildren will never emerge.

Prop 30 gives politicians the authority to continue to spend our tax dollars however they want

Don’t take it from me – the title and summary of the ballot measure says that the taxes derived from Prop 30 can be used for “paying for other spending commitments.”  There’s simply no assurance that our dollars will actually go to education.  That was illustrated this past year with pensions, legislative pay raises, high-speed rail and secret funds at the Department of Parks and Recreation. How are we to trust that politicians would behave any differently with a new $50 billion tax windfall?

Prop 30 does not guarantee that our schools and kids will get the help they need

Small businesses want our educational system to improve, but Prop 30 doesn’t guarantee one new cent for schools or our kids. An alleged $5 billion in cuts has been threatened if voters don’t approve Prop 30.  But, according to a recent study by Mike Genest, former Director of the California Department of Finance, our schools will get $1.2 billion more even if Prop 30 is rejected.   The fact is that our politicians could do something to fix our schools, but they have chosen to prioritize other things.

Prop 30 does not include one shred of reform – only more taxes to feed Sacramento’s spending addiction and frenzy

If Prop 30 proponents were really sincere about getting California out of the economic hole, they would have included important reforms that small business has long been asking Sacramento for:

Prop 30 actually harms small businesses – California’s job creators – while exempting Big Corporations

The Governor and proponents continue to call Prop 30 a “Millionaire’s Tax”, when it should be called a “Mom-and-Pop Tax on Main Street”. It is important to note that the majority of our 3.6 million small business owners in California file their taxes as individuals, not as corporations.

Business owners pay sales tax when they invest in goods and equipment vital to their business. That’s why it’s important to point out that, in addition to a harmful income tax increase, Prop 30’s sales tax increase will make it extremely difficult for the mom and pop owners to invest in the goods and inventory they need. Small business owners don’t have that kind of extra revenue lying around – it must come from somewhere and as a result, they will be forced to either raise prices, pare back shifts and benefits, or worst – lay people off or close their doors.

We need to stop rewarding politicians for their bad behavior and allowing them to take our hard-earned dollars from our pockets to feed their spending addiction.  Prop 30 just gives them the license to take more money from each of us without providing one ounce of reform.

They threaten to harm our schools and kids if we don’t raise taxes, but there isn’t any guarantee these dollars will actually go to the schools, let alone the classroom.

With no accountability or efficiency in education funding or how more of our taxes will solve the problem, how can we trust the Governor or any politician that this will fix our budget deficit or any problem in the future?

Until we can get those assurances, those safeguards, those questions answered, Californians should stop gambling with this sneaky Sacramento shell game and Vote “NO” on Proposition 30.