Supreme Court Ruling A Blow To Taxpayers

The California Supreme Court ruled today that taxes proposed by special interests using the local initiative process may not have to comply with taxpayer protections set forth in Proposition 13 and Proposition 218, the Right to Vote on Taxes Act, an HJTA sponsored statewide measure approved by California voters in 1996.

In response to the Court’s just issued decision in the case of California Cannabis Coalition v. City of Upland, Jon Coupal, President of the Howard Jarvis Taxpayers Association, issued the following statement:

“If local initiatives are exempt from critical taxpayer protections, then public agencies could easily deny taxpayers their rights by colluding with outside interests to propose taxes in the form of an initiative, then submitting a tax under a lower vote threshold than that currently mandated by the constitution.  The worst case scenario would be if a local government were to rely on this case as legal authority to impose a tax without any election at all.  However, if that were attempted, we would commence a new lawsuit immediately.”

“Ultimately, when taxpayers see how they are being burned by collusion between those seeking additional tax revenue, like government employee unions, and complicit local officials, it may be necessary to go back to the initiative process to close yet another court created loophole in Propositions 13 and 218.”


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