Proposition 55 is a California ballot proposition that passed on the November 8, 2016 ballot, regarding extending by twelve years the temporary personal income tax increases enacted in 2012 on earnings over $250,000, with revenues allocated to K–12 schools, California Community Colleges, and, in certain years, healthcare.[2] Proposition 55 will raise tax revenue by between $4 billion and $9 billion a year.[3] Half of funds will go to schools and community colleges, up to $2 billion a year would go to Medi-Cal, and up to $1.5 billion will be saved and applied to debt.[3]


California voters passed temporary sales and income tax increases with Proposition 30 in 2012.[4] During the temporary tax, California's top 1% of earners paid half of the state's income-taxes and contributed one third of its budget.[4] Since the 2012 tax increase, California's tax revenues have grown by nearly 30%, with roughly two thirds of the money going to schools.[4]

Proposition 55 allowed the sales tax increase to expire as planned, while maintaining the increased income tax rates and extended them through 2030.[4] Governor Jerry Brown, who was the primary proponent of the tax increase in 2012, remained neutral on Proposition 55.[5]


Proponents spent $58.6 million fighting for the measure, with the top donor being $25 million from a hospital trade association.[3] An additional $20 million was donated by the California Teachers Association, with other top donors including the Service Employees International Union, and the California School Employees Association.[3] The measure was supported by the editorial boards of The Sacramento Bee[6] and The Mercury News.[7]

Opponents spent $3,000 fighting against the measure.[3] The California Chamber of Commerce, who were neutral on the 2012 tax increase, opposed Proposition 55.[5] The measure was opposed by the editorial boards of the Los Angeles Times,[8] the San Francisco Chronicle,[9] and The Wall Street Journal.[4]


A September 2016 poll by the Public Policy Institute of California showed that 54% of likely voters supported Proposition 55, 38% opposed it, and 8% did not know how they would vote.[10]

Proposition 55 was approved by voters in the November general election, with 63% voting yes.[11]


  1. ^ "Statement of Vote - November 8, 2016, General Election". December 16, 2016. Retrieved January 7, 2017.
  2. ^ "Proposition 55. California General Election November 8, 2016. Official Voter Information Guide. California Secretary of State". Legislative Analyst's Office. Archived from the original on 11 October 2016. Retrieved 10 October 2016.
  3. ^ a b c d e Lagos, Marisa. "Election 2016: Proposition 55". KQED News. Retrieved 20 October 2016.
  4. ^ a b c d e The Editorial Board of the Wall Street Journal (26 October 2016). "The State Taxathon". The Wall Street Journal. Retrieved 27 October 2016.
  5. ^ a b Adler, Ben (25 October 2016). "Proposition 55 May Be Good Politics, But Is It Good Policy?". Capital Public Radio. Retrieved 27 October 2016.
  6. ^ The Editorial Board of the Sacramento Bee (24 September 2016). "'Yes' on Proposition 55 tax, unenthusiastically". The Sacramento Bee. Retrieved 20 October 2016.
  7. ^ "Proposition 55 needed to renew tax on richest Californians". The Mercury News. September 8, 2016.
  8. ^ The Editorial Board of the Los Angeles Times (1 October 2016). "Don't tie California's fate to Wall Street volatility. Vote no on Proposition 55". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved 20 October 2016.
  9. ^ The Editorial Board of the San Francisco Chronicle (9 September 2016). "Chronicle recommends: No on state Prop. 55". San Francisco Chronicle. Retrieved 20 October 2016.
  10. ^ Baldassare, Mark (September 2016). "Californians & Their Government: Statewide Survey" (PDF). Public Policy Institute of California. Retrieved 11 October 2016.
  11. ^ Pritchard, Justin (9 November 2016). "Tax the rich for education? California votes 'yes'". The Sacramento Bee. Archived from the original on 12 November 2016. Retrieved 11 November 2016.

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