Published: 28 April 2012 07:31 PM
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The woman behind a state ballot measure that would raise income taxes to boost public school funding told Inland Democrats on Saturday that her initiative would do more for children than a competing tax plan offered by Gov. Jerry Brown.

“If there’s one thing that’s built America, it’s investing in our public education,” Molly Munger told a meeting of the Democratic Luncheon Club of San Bernardino at Elks Lodge No. 836 in that city.

“We’re going to be able to make a transformational investment in our schools.”

A civil rights attorney with a liberal advocacy group that has offices in Los Angeles and Sacramento, Munger has spent at least $6 million of her own money — including on television ads — to promote “Our Children, Our Future,” an initiative she’s trying to get on the November ballot.

Her father is Charles Munger, a vice president at Berkshire Hathaway. The company’s CEO, Warren Buffett, recently advocated for higher taxes on the wealthy, noting he paid a lower tax rate than his secretary.

The measure calls for raising income taxes on a sliding scale over 12 years for nearly all incomes to generate more than $10 billion annually for public schools and early childhood education. The state PTA has endorsed the plan.

Munger’s presentation Saturday included a chart stating a family of four earning $50,000 or less would pay nothing in new taxes after deductions on a joint return. The same family with $1.5 million in income would pay $26,354 more, according to the chart.

The funds would bypass Sacramento lawmakers and go directly to local schools. About a third of the money in the first four years would go toward paying down state bond debt.

The initiative faces competition in November from Brown’s plan, which would raise California’s sales tax a quarter cent for five years and raise income taxes for seven years for people earning more than $250,000 a year.

Some of Brown’s supporters have asked Munger to drop her proposal so it doesn’t take votes from Brown’s plan. In an interview before her speech, Munger said she will not back down and the 504,000 or so signatures needed to put her initiative on the ballot will be submitted in the next 10 days.

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