Full coverage: Election 2012
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The results of Proposition 30, the governor’s proposed tax measure, were neck and neck as of press time, while election officials scrambled to count ballots.
Measure results that come down to the wire, like those for Proposition 30, require additional time to count absentee and provisional ballots, said Kim Alexander, president of the California Voter Foundation, a nonpartisan nonprofit organization that tracks California voting.
It could take up to a couple of weeks to determine results, the Los Angeles Times reported Tuesday.
As of press deadline, 52 percent of voters supported the proposition, followed closely by the 48 percent who opposed the measure.
“Who knows (how the proposition will go)? That’s within the margin no one can possibly predict,” said Gary Orfield, a UCLA political science professor.
Proposition 30 would temporarily increase taxes for high-income households and raise the sales tax to fund K-12 education and community colleges.
The sales tax increase would go into effect on Jan. 1, 2013, and the personal income tax would increase for the 2012 tax year.
The revenue would free up state funds for other public institutions, such as the University of California.
Orfield said the measure results are likely so close because voters are choosing between an urgent need to support schools, and the state’s “anti-tax culture.”
“It’s probably hard to get a tax increase passed in California on a referendum,” Orfield said.
In May 2009, state voters rejected a temporary tax increase in a special election. This summer, voters turned down by a narrow margin a tax on tobacco that would have raised revenue for cancer research.
UCLA students waited for election results at viewing parties across campus Tuesday night. Following the presidential results, however, many students did not stick around to watch as proposition results were slowly doled out.
Kayla Hines, a second-year business economics student who watched President Barack Obama’s acceptance speech in Ackerman Student Union Tuesday evening, said she was also waiting to hear Proposition 30 results.
“The sooner the better,” said Hines, who voted in support of the measure. “I mean, we voted on it, we expect a result.”
Brown has said the UC will receive $125 million in state funds in 2013-2014 if voters pass the measure and the University freezes tuition this year.
If Proposition 30 does not pass, the UC will face $250 million in automatic spending reductions, likely resulting in double-digit tuition hikes this academic year.
Other drastic measures will also likely be taken to make up for the severe budget gap, including more program cutbacks and staff layoffs, said Dianne Klein, a UC spokeswoman.
The measure’s opponents have said it is a temporary fix for the state’s long-term budget problems because it lacks plans for future higher education funding and does not institute any spending reforms.
The state deficit was last pegged at $15.7 billion, according to the latest state budget report.
While he’s interested in seeing the measure’s outcome, Danny Shaffer, a second-year chemical engineering student, said he does not think Proposition 30 will affect him personally. Shaffer, who voted against the tax measure, said he thinks the proposition is merely taxing Californians for something we already have money for ““ education.
“If (the measure) doesn’t pass, it won’t change the way that money is being used (for education},” he said.
Although Proposition 30 results are currently in limbo, the measure will not have to compete with Proposition 38, another tax measure on the ballot.
Californians voted down Proposition 38 ““ which would have temporarily raised personal income taxes on most taxpayers to fund early child care programs ““ by 74 percent on Tuesday, according to the California Secretary of State. Two tax measures cannot go into effect, which means Proposition 38′s passage would have posed an additional hurdle to the governor’s tax measure.
With contributing reports from Kristen Taketa, Taylor Aquino and Chelsea Dang, Bruin reporters.