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Bid to increase property taxes on hold for now

Rick Monroe

Special to the Village News

Can Proposition 13 be reversed, bringing a huge increase on property taxes for homeowners? The 1978 constitutional amendment sets the maximum annual increase in property taxes at 2%, but year after year there are challenges by Democrats to undermine the will of the people.

The Village News has been alerted by several residents that they have received a solicitation letter that asked for donations to protect Proposition 13. The letter cited concerns that the state Assembly was considering something called Assembly Constitutional Amendment 11.

This measure was introduced by a dozen state Democrat lawmakers in January, and it would indeed revoke the two-thirds requirement for increasing property taxes, to increase them by more than 2%. It would also impose an excise tax, payroll taxes, and a State Personal Income CalCare Tax at specified rates to fund comprehensive universal single-payer health care coverage.

The massive funding – more than $200 billion – would be needed for a health care cost control system that would be for the benefit of every resident of the state, proponents contend. It would also create reserves deemed necessary to ensure payment, to be established in statute.

However, don’t be alarmed. There was no action on the bill after January and the Legislature is done for the year, so nothing will happen. It’s dead.

“It’s as deader than a doorbell,” said a spokesman for local Assemblymember Marie Walden, R-Escondido.

Susan Shelley, vice president of communications for the Howard Jarvis Taxpayers Association, said that organization sent the fundraising solicitation and though ACA 11 was pulled, it could still be revisited or revised and come up again.

“The issue isn’t dead,” she asserted. “They are trying to tie it into other ‘needed’ legislation.”

It would take a two-thirds vote of both branches of the Legislature to pass a bill switching the two-thirds voter rule to a simple majority, plus the governor’s signature. The Democrats have more than two-thirds of the members of the Assembly and Senate.

ACA-11 would authorize the Legislature, upon an economic analysis determining insufficient amounts to fund these purposes, to increase any or all of these tax rates by a statute passed by majority vote of both houses of the Legislature.

There may be a solution to keeping the two-thirds voter requirement of voters in something called the California Taxpayer Protection Act. Reform California announced in August that it collected more than 1 million signatures to qualify for the 2024 ballot.

Reform California, a San Diego based conservative group, says the initiative is the most consequential tax reform measure since Prop 13. If approved by voters, the measure would require a two-thirds vote of the people to approve any future state or local tax hikes – and would require accurate and fair ballot titles be used in elections.

Californians already pay the highest taxes in the country, but Reform California Chairman Carl DeMaio is fighting to change that by forcing a statewide vote on the ballot initiative that would make it harder for state and local politicians to impose costly and unfair tax hikes in the future.

On Aug. 2, DeMaio announced that nearly 1.4 million signatures have been collected statewide to force the issue on the ballot in 2024.

Those signatures have now been submitted to county election offices across California to be reviewed and verified – with a public vote on the measure expected in 2024. DeMaio says qualifying this ballot measure is a “game changer” in the fight against tax hikes in California.

“Californians are literally fleeing our state because of the high cost-of-living and high taxes imposed by reckless politicians – and this ballot measure is a powerful way for voters to say ‘enough is enough,’” DeMaio said.

Once passed, the California Taxpayer Protection Act will supersede and nullify many of tax hikes being placed on the November 2022 ballot, and it would close loopholes politicians have exploited in recent years to impose tax hikes. That nullification provision would immediately produce tax savings for Californians.

In addition, the measure would combat false and misleading ballot titles currently used by state and local politicians to deceive voters into voting for ballot items that contain hidden tax hikes.

 

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