The California State Assembly is trying to undermine Prop. 13, with a new Assembly Constitutional Amendment, ACA 1.
In 1978, California voters passed Proposition 13, an initiative which created a constitutional amendment limiting property taxes to the value upon acquisition and tax increases of no more than 2% per year.
Property taxes, from rapidly appreciating property, outstripped incomes in the late 1970s. The passage of Prop. 13, which voters overwhelmingly approved, allowed many to stay in their homes. Voters have continued to support two-thirds vote protection, which has been in the California Constitution since 1879, with the passage of pro-taxpayer initiatives in 1986, 1996 and 2010.
ACA 1 is a direct attack on Proposition 13 because it would cut the vote threshold needed to pass local special taxes, dropping it from the current two-thirds vote required by Proposition 13 to only 55 percent. That change would make it easier for local governments to raise taxes for state and municipal taxes and bonds.
The Howard Jarvis Taxpayers Association (HJTA) feels that defeating this bill is so important that they will withhold endorsement from any current legislator who fails to vote “no” on ACA 1.
Assembly member Cecilia Aguiar-Curry said, the money is needed to build price-controlled affordable and subsidized supportive housing, water infrastructure, parks, and other projects deemed as “public infrastructure.”
The Jarvis Taxpayers Association notes that California already has among the highest income, sales and gas taxes in the nation despite Prop. 13 tax protections.
In addition to ACA 1, California Speaker of the Assembly Robert Rivas and Assemblymember Chris Ward have also proposed ACA13 to combat a tax-reform push by business groups with its “Taxpayer Protection and Government Accountability Act” initiative, which has qualified for the 2024 ballot.
Some of the Accountability provisions include:
- Require all new taxes passed by the Legislature to be approved by voters
- Restore two-thirds voter approval for all new local special tax increases
- Clearly define what is a tax or fee
- Require truthful descriptions of new tax proposals
- Hold politicians accountable by requiring them to clearly identify how revenue will be spent before any tax or fee is enacted
Ward and Rivas, don’t want this to pass, so they have co-authored ACA 13, which would change the constitution, making it more difficult to limit tax increases.
Interestingly enough, Rivas and Ward called it “Amendment 13”—perhaps to confuse voters thinking it has something to do with Prop. 13.
The Los Angeles Daily News in an August 22 opinion piece (“ACA 13 Is an Attack on You, the Taxpayer”) wrote, “It’s unseemly to try to manipulate the state constitution in order to defeat the taxpayer protections enshrined by Proposition 13.”
If readers agree with that sentiment, contact assemblymember Jacqui Irwin and tell her to vote ‘no’ on ACA 1 and tell her not to support ACA 13.
Email: firstname.lastname@example.org or call (916) 319-2044.