Over 40 people met at the Cupertino Community Hall Monday night to learn about the 11 propositions that will appear on the election ballot this November.
"I have sketchy ideas, but not solid information yet," said Cupertino resident Ann Stevenson, explaining why she attended the event hosted by the Cupertino-Sunnyvale League of Women Voters.
Stevenson and fellow Cupertino resident Lola Kashyup gave the same response when asked about what propositions they wanted to learn about.
"I'm trying to sort out the contrast between (Props) 30 and 38," said Kashyup, referring to the competing tax initiatives backed by Governor Jerry Brown and Molly Munger, respectively.
The event was led by Susan Hough, vice president of voter education with the Cupertino-Sunnyvale League.
Hough's presentation eschewed numerical order, instead starting off with Props 30 and 38.
"I'm going to do the hairiest ones first while you're still awake," joked Hough.
According to Hough, Prop 30 will raise an estimated $6 billion annually by increasing sales tax for four years and increasing the tax rate for high-income earners for seven years.
Prop 38 would raise an estimated $10 billion annually by raising the income-tax of most Californians and would be in effect for 12 years, Hough said.
And though both raise revenue, $6 billion in "trigger cuts" to education would go into effect if Prop 30 fails or receives less votes than Prop 38.
Hough cautioned the audience that estimates of revenue are just that, estimates.
"Income tax on high income earners is very volatile," she told the audience.
Residents were particularly confused about what would happen if both propositions pass with majority votes.
Hough explained that the proposition with the most votes would see its tax increases go into effect, while the other's would not.
Hough moved on to the remaining nine propositions, including Prop 39, which would standardize the corporate tax rate of businesses that operate in multiple states.
After hearing that half the revenue raised by this initiative would be dedicated to a clean energy job creation fund, Cupertino resident Ted Schenk spoke out.
"It seems like all these propositions are raising money and then spending (it) on something else," he said. "How are we supposed to balance the budget?"
Other initiatives discussed included: Prop 34, which would replace the death penalty with life without parole; Prop 35, recently endorsed by Santa Clara County District Attorney Jeff Rosen, which, among other things, would expand the definition of "human trafficking" to include distribution of obscene materials depicting a minor; and Prop 37, which would require genetically engineered food sold in stores to be labeled.
For more information on the initiatives, visit: