Important legislative update for Howard Jarvis Taxpayer Association: Snack tax, rent control

HJTA had a successful January in the State Capitol, with important victories for taxpayers and property owners. We wanted to take a moment to share the news: two major bills that HJTA spent over a year opposing went down to a final defeat last month. 

The snack tax: Assembly Constitutional Amendment 2 is a proposed billion-dollar increase in the “snack tax,” in flat defiance of the will of the voters. In 1992, by a 2 to 1 margin, voters placed a prohibition on the taxing of snacks in the State Constitution. ACA 2 aimed to change that with a poorly crafted proposal that would have created confusion as well as higher taxes. For example, it stated that granola bars were taxable, but granola was not. And it would have put a new tax on bottled water. Thankfully, this measure went down to a bipartisan defeat in the Assembly Revenue and Taxation Committee. 

Rent control: As the leading property rights activist group in California, HJTA strongly opposes rent-control and any policy that would make affordable housing more difficult to construct in California. Rent control also makes it more difficult for units to be modernized, and it discourages new construction. Assembly Bill 1506 would have removed legal protections for property owners and allowed cities to impose drastic rent control on any type of residential housing, including single-family homes. This brazen attempt to inhibit the free market was defeated in the Assembly Housing Committee.

Your support and advocacy were a key part of these victories. But the fight isn’t over.

The supporters of rent control are coming back with a proposed November ballot initiative that would repeal the 1995 Costa-Hawkins Rental Housing Act, the state law that says rent control can’t apply to housing built after 1995, single-family homes, condos and duplexes. If this initiative makes it to the ballot and passes, cities could pass radical new rent-control laws that worsen the housing crisis and make it even harder for young people and new residents to find housing.

As you know, HJTA’s tax status does not allow us to fight ballot measures, but our “No New Taxes” Committee can defeat this measure and others circulating that will increase your taxes and lower your property values.

Thank you for all you do to help protect Californians and ensure a better future for our state.


HJTA1Howard 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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