Californians Still Believe in Proposition 13 Taxpayer Protections

Editorial

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HJTA-150x150By Jon Coupal

A statewide survey commissioned by the Howard Jarvis Taxpayers Association shows Californians continue to support Proposition 13 and the two-thirds vote requirement to boost taxes on property owners.  By nearly two to one, voters agree that reducing the two-thirds vote to 55% to pass local bonds would place an unfair burden on owners of property.

Tone-deaf legislators have introduced a number of bills in Sacramento that would lower the vote required to pass new special taxes, per parcel property taxes and local bonds. But don’t expect lawmakers to honestly tell the public that these end runs around Proposition 13 are intended in increase taxes.  The politicians would have you believe that all they are doing is trying to provide more “local control” for taxpayers.  “Local control” sounds great, but examination of these bills reveals they are just  schemes to make it easier for politicians and special interests that benefit from greater spending, to take more from taxpayers

Especially menacing to taxpayers is ACA 8, a constitutional amendment being considered in the Senate after narrowly passing the Assembly last year.  ACA 8 would lower the currently mandated two-thirds vote threshold for local bonds to 55%, resulting in billions of dollars of new taxes being placed on the backs of property owners.

The Jarvis survey, conducted by the respected polling firm Probolsky Research, showed that if ACA 8 reached the ballot, it would face rough sledding.   By a 56% to 31% margin, likely voters in the November 2014 election thought that easing Proposition 13 limits by lowering the two-thirds vote for local bonds would place an unfair burden on property owners. The question posed to respondents was as follows:

“California law requires that local bonds for roads, water projects, transit systems and public buildings be approved by a two-thirds vote of local voters.  Unlike state bonds, local bonds are repaid only by property owners with a property tax that is above the one percent cap imposed by Proposition 13.  There is a proposal to reduce the vote requirement from two-thirds to 55%, making the bonds much more likely to pass. Which of the following statements most closely matches your view?”

1. “Making it easier to pass these bonds is important so California can rebuild its crumbling infrastructure.”

2. “Making it easier to pass these bonds places an unfair tax burden on property owners. Government needs to do a better job of using the revenue it already receives.”

These poll results are illuminating.   Not only do they suggest that voters believe they are overtaxed generally but, when they find out that a proposal like ACA 8 is actually an attack on Proposition 13, they are even less likely to support lowering the two-thirds vote.   Should ACA 8 make it to the ballot – something the Howard Jarvis Taxpayers Association is trying hard to prevent – we will make sure voters understand the damage it will inflict on Proposition 13 and property owners if it were to pass.

Average Californians want to see our state thrive and understand that making it much easier to impose higher taxes on homeowners and small business owners, would be a move in the wrong direction, especially after taxes were increased by $7 billion annually, last year.

The Sacramento lawmakers would be wise to take note that after 36 years, Proposition 13 still enjoys wide support among California voters irrespective of party affiliation.

More information is available on the Howard Jarvis Taxpayers Association website.

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Jon Coupal is president of the Howard Jarvis Taxpayers Association — California’s largest grass-roots taxpayer organization dedicated to the protection of Proposition 13 and the advancement of taxpayers’ rights.

 

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One Response to Californians Still Believe in Proposition 13 Taxpayer Protections

  1. Dick Albright February 19, 2014 at 4:47 pm

    HEALTH AND SAFETY CODE SECTION 5473 states:

    ” Any entity which has adopted an ordinance pursuant to this article or an order pursuant to Section 6520.5 may, by such ordinance or by separate ordinances or resolutions approved by a two-thirds vote of the members of the legislative body thereof, elect to have such charges collected on the tax roll in the same manner, by the same persons, and at the same time as, together with and not separately from, its general taxes.”

    There are TWO other government codes that affect ALL VOTING on PUBLIC MEASURES:

    California Code of Civil Procedure §1245.240

    “Unless a greater vote is required by statute, charter, or ordinance, the resolution shall be adopted by a vote of two-thirds of ALL the members of the governing body of the public entity.” (FOUR OF FIVE)

    AND

    2009 California Government Code Article 7. Ordinances §25123

    ” (d) Those for the immediate preservation of the public peace, health, or safety, which shall contain a declaration of the facts constituting the urgency, and shall be passed by a four-fifths vote of the board of supervisors.”

    The real significance of “CA Codes 5473, 1245.240 and 25123” is that ANY measure, resolution or LAW that ANY entity–City Council, Board of Supervisors, or California Legislature votes on must be carried by a SUPER-MAJORITY of the full governing body, significantly for financial matters.

    There is only one California Code that allows for a 3 of 5 majority (quorum) vote AND that is limited to INTERNAL conduct of business:

    § “25003. The board may make and enforce rules and regulations necessary for the government of the board, the preservation of order, and the transaction of business.”

    § “25004. It may adopt a seal. A description and impression of the seal shall be filed in the office of the county clerk.”

    § “25005. A majority of the members of the board constitute a quorum for the transaction of business. No act of the board shall be valid or binding unless a majority of all the members concur therein.”

    “Transaction of business” is an INTERNAL protocol, not PUBLIC. This is reinforced by:

    75 Ops. Cal. Atty. Gen. 89
    Office of the Attorney General
    State of California
    Opinion No. 92-212

    “The board may make and enforce regulations necessary for the government of the board, the preservation of order, and the transaction of business.”
    “It has been held that §25003 and §36813 vest a city council and county board of supervisors with wide discretion in adopting rules concerning the conduct of their proceedings…”

    GOVERNMENT CODE §36813. ”

    The council may establish rules for the conduct of its proceedings. It may punish a member or other person for disorderly behavior at a meeting.”

    The only issues that Councils and County Boards of Supervisors can pass with 3 of 5 VOTES are INTERNAL “business transactions”–that includes paying bills, hiring a clerk…or ‘going to lunch’.

    And NOT measures which directly affect “MEMBERS of the PUBLIC”. This has SERIOUS retroactive and current constitutional ramifications as many PUBLIC measures have failed due to the absence of a 2/3 ‘supermajority’ (4 of 5) while others have been ILLEGALLY ‘passed’ by 3/5 vote with a cavalier disregard for California General Law to which counties and cities owe their existence. And they knew or should have known. Nothing has been discovered to refute this.

    California Code of Civil Procedure Section 1245.240

    Section 1245.240. (Added by Stats. 1975, Ch. 1275.)
    Cite as: Cal. Civ. Proc. Code §1245.240.

    Unless a greater vote is required by statute, charter, or ordinance, the resolution shall be adopted by a vote of two-thirds of all the members of the governing body of the public entity.

    ——————————————-

    2009 California Government Code – Section 25120-25132 :: Article 7. Ordinances
    California 2009 Code

    GOVERNMENT CODE
    SECTION 25123

    (d) Those for the immediate preservation of the public peace, health, or safety, which shall contain a declaration of the facts constituting the urgency, and shall be passed by a four-fifths vote of the board of supervisors.

    —————————————————
    HEALTH AND SAFETY CODE
    SECTION 5473

    5473. Any entity which has adopted an ordinance pursuant to this
    article or an order pursuant to Section 6520.5 may, by such ordinance
    or by separate ordinances or resolutions approved by a two-thirds
    vote of the members of the legislative body thereof, elect to have
    such charges collected on the tax roll in the same manner, by the
    same persons, and at the same time as, together with and not
    separately from, its general taxes.

    One might wish to review (investigate) past and current votes by ENTITIES (all members) Boards of Supervisors and local councils for this “failure to communicate” the truth: KNOWINGLY, with IMPROPER PUBLIC NOTICE and SEVERE LEGAL CONSEQUENSES, VIOLATING California Codes and its Constitution. Remember, FOUR (4) of FIVE (5) EQUALS TWO-THIRDS not 3 of 5.

    Reply

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