CapitolAlert -The latest on California politics and government | The Sacramento Bee
November 17, 2009 -- The California Teachers Association continues to grapple with whether to pursue either of two proposed ballot initiatives it filed this month to generate billions for schools from large businesses.
CTA President David A. Sanchez said a final decision will be made in January by the group's state council.
"They'll take a look at the two initiatives that we filed and they will give us further direction as to whether or not to proceed," Sanchez said Tuesday at a news conference lamenting the effects of this year's school budget cuts.
Both initiatives, filed Nov. 5 with the state Attorney General's Office, would alter Proposition 13 to extract vast sums from large businesses for schools.
One of the initiatives would impose an additional half-percent ad valorem tax on commercial property, the other would loosen Proposition 13 restrictions by assessing such property at current market rates.
Each of the CTA initiatives promise a tax break for homeowners and for small businesses.
Sanchez said the initiatives were filed now to meet a deadline for qualifying for the November 2010 ballot.
"We certainly are very much concerned about the fact that we're giving big tax breaks to large corporations and that they are not paying their fair share as we all are," Sanchez said.
"We believe that we need to look at all areas out there to find additional revenues to support our public schools -- and (these were a possibility)," he added.
Sanchez also was asked whether CTA would prefer closing corporate tax loopholes rather than seeking a tax increase. He was noncommittal but conceded that hiking taxes is not popular with voters.
"When you use the 'T' word to the public, it gets them pretty riled up," Sanchez said.