Campaign to raise voting threshold for new or increased taxes in California submits signatures for a spot on the 2024 ballot – Ballotpedia News


Californians for Taxpayer Protection and Government Accountability has submitted more than 1.1 million signatures for a ballot initiative to increase the ballot requirement for new taxes and define levies, charges and fees as taxes in the California Constitution.

Currently, state tax increases must be approved by a two-thirds vote in each house or a simple majority vote in a statewide election. Taxes can be reduced by simple majority legislative vote.

Under the amendment, new or increased taxes must be passed by a two-thirds legislative vote in each house and approved by a simple majority of voters. The amendment would also increase the vote requirement for local taxes proposed by local government or citizens to a two-thirds vote of the local electorate.

The amendment would require that a bill proposing or increasing a tax include the duration of the tax, an estimate of the annual revenue from the tax, a statement regarding the use of the revenue for specific or general purposes, and the title and the summary of the ballot for the question of the tax measure. The initiative would allow fee waived not be included in the definition of a tax. This would place the burden of proof on the state to present clear and convincing evidence that a royalty is an exempt royalty and not a tax.

The initiative defines a fee waived as:

  • reasonable charges that do not exceed the cost of a specific government service provided only to payers;
  • a fee equal to the state regulatory costs for issuing licenses and permits; carry out investigations, inspections and audits; and enforce agricultural marketing orders;
  • a levy collected by local governments, health care providers, or service plans used to fund the nonfederal portion of the Medi-Cal program;
  • a reasonable fee for entry, use, rental, purchase or lease of government property;
  • a fine or penalty imposed by the judiciary or state administrative enforcement agency as a result of a violation of law; and
  • a charge for the promotion of California tourism in accordance with state law.

The committee behind the initiative initially aimed for the 2022 ballot, but missed the June 30 deadline for submitting signatures. The committee raised over $15.2 million in contributions. The committee’s major donors are California Business Roundtable Issues PAC ($5.5 million), AMR Holdco Inc. ($3.1 million), Douglas Emmett Properties ($1.5 million), Kilroy Realty LP ($1. $.5 million) and Michael K. Hayde ($1.4 million). ).

Californians for Taxpayer Protection and Government Accountability stated on their website: “The Taxpayer Protection and Government Accountability Act will give voters the right to vote on all future state taxes and will hold politicians responsible for new fees and other increased costs paid by working families and all Californians. .”

The initiative is being fought by AFSCME California, the California Contract Cities Association, the California Professional Firefighters, the California State Council of Labourers, the SEIU California State Council and the League of California Cities.

Graham Knaus, executive director of the California State Association of Counties (CSAC), said: “This misleading initiative would undermine the rights of local voters and their elected officials to make decisions about essential local services that residents rely on. This creates major new tax loopholes to the detriment of residents and will weaken our local services and communities.

Three initiatives have qualified for the 2024 ballot. They relate to creating a pandemic prevention research institute, increasing the state’s minimum wage, and changing the process for redressing labor violations.

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