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    Howard Jarvis Taxpayers Association President Visits Ventura County

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    By George Miller

    Howard Jarvis Taxpayers Association President Jon Coupal at 3-13-19 VCTA event at Oxnard Marriott Courtyard. Photo: George Miller/

    Howard Jarvis Taxpayers Association (HJTA) President Jon Coupal dined with some people invited by the Ventura County Taxpayers Association (VCTA) recently. He was there to thank them for their role in providing an Amicus Curiae (Friend of the Court) brief in support of HJTA’s lawsuit on state pensions.

    The two organizations, not to mention other ones and actual taxpayers, are very concerned about the huge unfunded state and local pension liabilities and are opposing xxxxx. HJTA obtained a very important court ruling supporting some of their positions and setting the stage for future victories. In summary, these reduced the power of the so-called California Ruling, which made union-negotiated government pension agreements in the state almost immutable. You can read the Amicus brief HERE.

    Concerned officials in both parties have realized that some pension funds are on a collision course with disaster if more isn’t done. Under Jerry Brown, progress was made. Any progress can only be made by getting the supermajority Democrat legislature, Governor and Liberal-dominated courts to act.

    The dinner party attendees at a private room at the Marriott Courtyard in Oxnard were very festive, celebrating the ruling victory. But, they were also thoughtful about the challenges faced by state and municipal government finances and the ever-increasing tax load on residents and businesses, some of which are fleeing California.

    In attendance was HJTA President Jon Coupal, VCTA President David Grau , several board members, such as Aspen Helicopters President Charles McLaughlin, retired lemon farmer/banker Bill Wilson, Ventura County GOP Chair Mike Osborn and his wife (also an official), and several other influential area people  in banking, oil and gas.

    HJTA was the force behind the iconic California Proposition 13, which helped to bring runaway property taxes under some semblance of control. They are also the premier watchdog against any attempt to eliminate or water it down. Looking at my own tax bill, I see that they haven’t been totally successful in keeping out the many supplemental assessments which have raised my property taxes 57% in 11 years.

    The state currently claims to have a surplus, but this was only achieved at the cost of the highest tax increases in history in the last decade. When pension liabilities and debt are considered, thee is no suplus. More spending and taxes are planned and HJTA is digging in its heels to stop some.  They can only do so by using the law and appealing to resident and business interests to in turn influence public opinion.

    Although the group was heavily Conservative, some of the issues they addressed (such as Prop 13 and pensions,) would be of interest to most residents. In fact, they hope to achieve bipartisan majorities to enact some of their ideas. Others might be accomplished via court rulings. It With most spending checks and balances now absent, this group might be considered by both sides of the aisle as an important counterweight to out-of-control taxation and spending.

    Coupal demonstrated his knowledge and mastery of key state tax/funding related issues. Topics of presentation questions and discussion included:

    • The pension case
    • “proposed “split roll” increased taxation on business property
    • 2018 Prop 6 gas tax repeal (unsuccessful)

    VCTA also thanked HJTA for several assists on local cases, which unfortunately, were “off the record” at this meeting.

    Ventura County Taxpayers Association’s Brief Urges CA Supreme Court to Reject Calif. Rule (Pension Reform)

    Ventura County Taxpayers Association’s Brief Urges CA Supreme Court to Reject Calif. Rule (Pension Reform)

    VCTA has filed an Amicus Brief in support of the State of California in the pension reform case of Cal Fire v. CalPERS. The brief articulates the right of the legislature to adjust future pension benefits and the grave threat to state and local economies posed by increasing pension contribution requirements and the ever increasing […]

    California Supreme Court Rules Against Union in … – Citizens Journal

    Howard Jarvis Taxpayers Association joins Gov … – Citizens Journal…
    Feb 23, 2018 – 21) HJTA submitted an amicus curiae brief in the California … unions have argued that under the “California Rule,” no pension benefit provided …


    George Miller is Publisher/Co-Founder of and a “retired” operations management consultant residing in Oxnard

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    William Hicks
    William Hicks
    3 years ago

    I can show you what NOT having Prop 13 looks like. I am the Guardian Conservator of my 94 year old Father who lives in Montana. I pay his property tax.

    There is no Prop 13 in Montana and my Fathers house has a similar value to mine in California. My property tax is one quarter the cost of my Fathers property tax.

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