The Great Recession sent the California economy reeling. Home values plummeted, unemployment spiked, and state budget deficits soared. The state shed 1.4 million jobs, including 400,000 construction workers and 32,000 teachers.
But, on November 6, 2012, California voters approved two measures that should help stanch the bleeding. Proposition 30 increased income taxes on high earners for seven years and raised the sales tax by a quarter-cent for four years; Proposition 39 closed a tax loophole that favored out-of-state corporations, costing the state around $1 billion annually.
Prop 39 stipulates that over the next five years half of the recovered revenue be spent on clean energy and energy efficiency projects in public buildings. After five years, all of the revenue flows to the state’s General Fund.