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Ballot proposal seeks to exempt people without kids in public schools from paying education-related taxes

A man using a Huntington Beach postal box has submitted a statewide ballot proposal calling for California residents without children in public schools to be exempt from paying school-related taxes.

In his Aug. 30 proposal, Lee Olson, chairman of the Committee to End Slavery, asserts that California schools are leaving pupils unprepared for college, forcing parents to seek other options.

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"Parents pursuing alternative education are penalized unfairly by having to not only pay for their children's education but also by being forced to pay for the education of other children …," Olson writes in his proposal, "the California Education Tax Relief Act."

He argues that such taxation is happening "at gunpoint" and compares it to theft. Olson, who submitted an identically named proposal in 2009, needs 585,407 signatures for his amendment to quality for the 2018 general election ballot.

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A report from the state Legislative Analyst's Office said Olson's proposal could cause governments to lose as much as $30 billion annually.

"In response, governments would have to take actions to bring their budgets into balance by reducing spending and/or raising revenues," the report said.

Olson also submitted two other proposals this year. One would allow parents to "have absolute and sole control" over their children's education, free of government "threats" or "coercion."

The second would exempt California residents from paying most taxes after their 55th birthday. The Legislative Analyst's Office estimated that such a law would reduce state and local government revenue by roughly $60 billion annually.

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Twitter: @BradleyZint

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