‘Right to Vote on Taxes’ Case Now Before California Supreme Court

CPR: Last week the California Supreme Court agreed to hear a case that could determine whether the right to vote on local taxes, which is constitutionally guaranteed by both Propositions 13 and 218, will cease to exist.

The case, California Cannabis Coalition v. City of Upland, at first glance seems limited to a narrow technical question: When a local initiative seeks to impose a new tax, does the issue need to be put to the voters at the next general election or can the proponents, relying on other laws, force a special election? But in answering that question, the lower court ruled that taxes proposed by initiative are exempt from the taxpayer protections contained in the state constitution, such as the provision dictating the timing of the election.

The Howard Jarvis Taxpayers Association (HJTA), which filed the petition seeking Supreme Court review, was alarmed because the constitution’s taxpayer protections include the right to vote on taxes. If local initiatives are exempt from those protections, then public agencies could easily deny taxpayers their right to vote on taxes by colluding with outside interests to propose taxes in the form of an initiative, then adopting the initiative without an election.  more

3 Comments on ‘Right to Vote on Taxes’ Case Now Before California Supreme Court

  1. A few years ago the Santa Monica-Malibu school district wanted to add another parcel tax, on top of the existing multiple ones. For the children, of course, but payable pretty much just by people who actually owned property. It needed a 2/3 vote to pass. They did a special, mail-in only ballot, expressly because they were relying on the nays not being aware of it. How’s that for democracy? It failed, but just barely.

    BTW I worked for Santa Monica finance for a short while about 15 years ago. They were sitting on several hundred million dollars. Still crying poor of course.

  2. Constitution?
    CA doesn’t have one. It used to, but included a part that said “no governor shall serve more than 2 terms”. The criminal syndicate needed to plop Jerry Brown into the seat again, so the constitution got circular filed.

  3. No worries. Watch the Cali Dems rally the Dead to vote on this one, they been lying around too much lately.

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