Wyatt Buchanan
Updated 10:34 p.m., Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Sacramento –A barrage of television ads for Gov. Jerry Brown’s tax-raising Proposition 30 started airing statewide on Wednesday, but one of the central arguments made in some of the ads is questionable.

Three of the five ads tell viewers that the money raised by the measure “can’t be touched by Sacramento politicians.”

The statements are technically true because the Prop. 30 money would be dropped into a newly created Education Protection Account.

But an independent analysis of the Nov. 6 ballot measure says elected state officials will indeed decide how to spend much of the approximately $6 billion raised annually by Prop. 30.

The nonpartisan Legislative Analyst’s Office assessment of the initiative is printed in the official voter guide and says the Prop. 30 funds “would be available for a wide range of purposes – including funding existing state programs, ending K-14 education payment delays and paying other state debts. Future actions of the Legislature and the governor would determine the use of these funds.”

Prop. 30 proponents stood by the accuracy of their advertisements. Critics, including supporters of the competing measure, Proposition 38, called the ads misleading.

Prop. 30 would increase the sales tax for four years by a penny for every $4 spent. For seven years it would increase the income tax on California’s highest earners, starting with individuals who make more than $250,000 and couples who make more than $500,000.
Education dollars

For accounting purposes, all the new revenue would go into the Education Protection Account. But those dollars would supplant education dollars from the general fund, the state account that pays for a broad range of other services as well.

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