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Civil rights attorney Molly Munger has contributed $500,000 toward her tax initiative to raise $10 billion annually for education, the first significant cash backing a measure that competes with Gov. Jerry Brown's tax proposal, according to a campaign statement posted today.

Munger wants to raise income taxes on all but the poorest residents, with progressively higher rates up the income scale. She has filed two versions of her initiative; one would give the money entirely to education, another would provide $3 billion in state budget relief on top of money for schools.

The money flowed in two contributions for $100,000 and $400,000 to the new "Our Children, Our Future," campaign committee.

The Democratic governor and his aides are trying to convince other tax proponents to shelve their proposals, for fear that voters will be confused and vote down all tax plans. But Munger still indicates she will move forward. The donations marking the latest sign. Munger, an attorney and daughter of billionaire Charles Munger, has significant wealth to help finance the initiative.

It remains early. The major tax proponents - Brown, Munger and California Federation of Teachers - must still wait to obtain ballot language from state Attorney General Kamala Harris before they can gather signatures. At that point, each group would likely have to spend $3 million or more on signature gatherers to qualify their measures.

Brown has raised more than $1.2 million so far, campaign statements show.


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