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Citizen’s Initiatives: New Surge to Avoid 2/3 Approval on Taxes

LEGAL TRENDS IN CALIFORNIA: SUPER-MAJORITY REQUIREMENT TO INCREASE TAXES AT PERIL

The Fourth District Court of Appeal (San Diego County) ruled that approval of local tax increases placed on the ballot by citizen’s initiative instead of by a government agency may be approved by a simple majority instead of two-thirds vote.  It has long been the case that a citizen’s initiative required a two-thirds vote.  This ruling brings that that belief into question.

The ruling found that “citizen’s initiatives are not subject to some of the constitutional amendments voters made when they approved Propositions 13, 218 and 26, because those measures aimed to limit taxes imposed by governments, not citizens.”

For an explanation of the legal history of this extension of the dramatic change to the common belief that citizen’s initiatives to increase taxes is not accurate and for discussion by the supporters pro and con to this position, see Will ruling make it easier to raise taxes? by David Garrick.

This issue is not final – everyone is waiting to see if it will be appealed to the California Supreme Court.  

L. Sue Loftin is the Founder and Shareholder of The Loftin Firm. For questions relating to this blog or any other California real estate, corporate governance, land use, or estate planning matter, contact Ms. Loftin at 760-814-9649.