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Supporters of a tax measure backed by wealthy civil rights attorney Molly Munger have started submitting the voter signatures they've collected in their qualification campaign.

The campaign announced late today that it is submitting 241,049 signatures to elections officials in Los Angeles County. Backers hope to submit signatures of 775,000 voters in all. Roughly 504,000 valid signatures are needed to qualify the proposal for the November ballot.

Campaign spokesman Nathan Ballard said supporters are wrapping up signature-gathering efforts this week. He said he is "optimistic" that they will hit that target.

Munger's measure, which is supported by the California State PTA, would raise income taxes on a sliding scale on all but the poorest California workers for 12 years, with most of the estimated $10 billion in revenues going directly to schools and early development programs. A portion of the money would be used to pay down school bond debt for the first several years.

Supporters of the tax measure backed by Gov. Jerry Brown, which would temporarily hike the sales tax and increase income taxes for Californians making more than $250,000 a year, sought earlier this year to persuade Munger to drop her effort so there would not be more than one tax measure on the same ballot. That campaign has not yet announced turning in petition signatures.

Munger contributed $6 million of her own money to fuel the signature-gathering campaign and run two television ads supporting the measure, which she argues does the most to help schools. The measure has not fared as well as Brown's plan in recent statewide polls.



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