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California Proposition 133, Sales Tax Increase (1990)

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California Proposition 133 was on the November 6, 1990 ballot in California as an initiated state statute, where it was defeated.

Proposition 133 had three major provisions. It would have increased the state's sales tax for four years. The additional sales tax revenue would have been spent on programs identified as being in the "Safe Streets Fund," which mostly included programs related to law enforcement, operating funds for prisons and a variety of drug abatement and education programs. Finally, Prop 133 would have prohibited persons convicted of certain violent or drug-related crimes from receiving credits to reduce their prison sentences.

Election results

Proposition 133
ResultVotesPercentage
Defeatedd No4,877,80868.13%
Yes 2,281,937 37.87%

Ballot summary

  • Establishes Safe Streets Fund in State Treasury.
  • Appropriates funds in account for Anti-Drug Education (42%); Anti-Drug Law Enforcement (40%); Prisons and Jails (10%); Drug Treatment (8%).
  • Increases state sales and use taxes 1/2 cent for four years starting July 1, 1991; increased funds transferred to Safe Streets Fund.
  • Limits state administrative expenses to 1%.
  • Prohibits early release of persons convicted twice of: murder; manslaughter; rape or sexual assault; mayhem; sale, possession for sale, drugs to minors on schoolgrounds or playgrounds; using minors to sell or transport drugs.

Fiscal impact

The fiscal estimate provided by the California Legislative Analyst's Office said:

  • The Safe Streets Fund will receive a total of $7.5 billion in sales tax revenue for distribution during four-year period rate increase is in effect.
  • Interest earnings received by the General Fund for the four-year period will be $80 million, with education programs receiving up to $33 million.
  • Minor General Fund costs beginning in 1997-98 increasing to more than $30 million annually, by 2012-13 as a result of increased prison population due to elimination of sentence credits for specified offenders; potential one-time costs of more than $140 million for construction of new prison facilities.
  • Increased law enforcement funding could result in additional criminal arrests and convictions, increasing state and local costs, which may be reduced by the increased funding of drug education and prevention programs.

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