SACRAMENTO – Today, Assembly Republicans held a press conference to announce an amendment to the state constitution. The amendment will reaffirm the voters’ intent to require all local tax increases for a special purpose to receive approval from two-thirds of voters.
“This is a fight to defend a law that has protected Californians for decades,” said Assembly Republican Leader Chad Mayes (Yucca Valley). “We are proud to stand with ordinary people who can’t afford higher taxes.”
The need for the amendment became clear following the California Supreme Court’s ruling this week that could allow special purpose tax increases placed on the ballot by initiative to pass with a simple majority vote. The decision opened a loophole in the existing two-thirds threshold, giving an advantage to special interests that can afford to pay signature collectors to get a tax increase on the ballot.
“This ruling empowers special interest groups who want your money for pet projects to do an end-around on taxpayer protections,” said Assemblywoman Catharine Baker (R-San Ramon). “We must protect taxpayers and make sure any proposal to take more money out of the pockets of Californians meets the two-thirds threshold before ever being enacted.”
“We are united in our belief that special-purpose local taxes should require a two-thirds vote regardless of how they are placed on the ballot,” said Assemblyman Jay Obernolte (R-Hesperia). “All tax increases by definition grow the size of government, and California should not allow special interests to hijack the approval process.”
“It’s already too expensive to live in California,” said Assemblyman Devon Mathis (R-Visalia). “We’re standing up for the two-thirds requirement to stop special interests from making it even worse.”
Once the language of the amendment is finalized, Assembly Republicans will push for swift passage through the Legislature, in time for the June 2018 election.