See what your California Legislature is up to – don’t turn your backs on these slop suckers! Seven legislative amendments that lower the votes required for raising your property and sales taxes.

27 Oct

I’ve been trying to track a group of constitutional amendments currently slithering their way through California Senate and Assembly committees. What these seven amendments have in common is they will lower the number of votes needed to raise taxes. They need two/thirds approval to make it through the legislature. Unfortunately the California legislature is infested with tax and spend morons, all of whom are hooked up to CalPERS pensions. Yeah, that’s right – even your “representatives” are in the trough!

Don’t let that stop you from arming yourself with knowledge and writing letters – to your California legislators, the newspapers, your friends, and even to those legislators who support these bills – tell them, you’re not so poor you can’t send a check to their competitor in the next election.  Tell them you belong to Chico Taxpayers Association – the only group that BEAT a tax measure in Election 2012!

Stephanie Taber gave me a list of the amendments, below I’ve begun compiling the current data from the California Legislative website, as well as the Assembly and Senate websites. Every body should make a point of checking these websites regularly. This is a real civics lesson for me – this is how you learn about your government after your school teachers told you a bunch of shit about Democracy. Read up below, I’ll be adding to this info as I get  time. Right now I got to roll out some noodles and get some chicken in a pot for some soup for dinner. 

ACA3Lowers Vote Requirements for Tax Increases

Synopsis from California Legislative Counsel’s Digest:  

(1) The California Constitution prohibits the general ad valorem tax rate on real property from exceeding 1% of the full cash value of the property, subject to certain exceptions. This measure would create an additional exception to the 1% limit for a rate imposed by a city, county, or special district to service bonded indebtedness incurred to fund certain fire, emergency response, police, or sheriff buildings or facilities, and equipment, that is approved by 55% of the voters of the city, county, or special district, as applicable.

(2) The California Constitution conditions the imposition of a special tax by a city, county, or special district upon the approval of 2/3 of the voters of the city, county, or special district voting on that tax, and prohibits these entities from imposing an ad valorem tax on real property or a transactions or sales tax on the sale of real property.

This measure would authorize the imposition, extension, or increase of a special tax by a city, county, or special district for the purpose of providing supplemental funding fire, emergency response, police, or sheriff services, upon the approval of 55% of the voters voting on the proposition, and would prohibit the revenues derived from such a tax from being expended to supplant any other funding source for the provision of these services. This measure would also make conforming changes to related provisions.

(3) The California Constitution prohibits specified local government agencies from incurring any indebtedness exceeding in any year the income and revenue provided in that year, without the assent of 2/3 of the voters and subject to other conditions. In the case of a school district, community college district, or county office of education, the California Constitution permits a proposition for the incurrence of indebtedness in the form of general obligation bonds for the construction, reconstruction, rehabilitation, or replacement of school facilities, including the furnishing and equipping of school facilities, or the acquisition or lease of real property for school facilities, to be adopted upon the approval of 55% of the voters of the district or county, as appropriate, voting on the proposition at an election.

This measure would similarly lower to 55% the voter-approval threshold for a city or county to incur bonded indebtedness, exceeding in any year the income and revenue provided in that year, that is in the form of general obligation bonds issued to fund certain fire, emergency response, police, or sheriff buildings or facilities, and equipment.

Status –  this bill was introduced in January 2013. In April 2013 it was sent to the committee on Local Government, after which it will head to the committee on Appropriations. The Local Government committee is made up of nine legislators, six of them Democrats. 

SCA 4  – Lowers Vote Requirements for Tax Increases

Synopsis from California Legislative Counsel’s Digest:

The California Constitution conditions the imposition of a special tax by a city, county, or special district upon the approval of 2/3 of the voters of the city, county, or special district voting on that tax, except that certain school entities may levy an ad valorem property tax for specified purposes with the approval of 55% of the voters within the jurisdiction of these entities.

This measure would provide that the imposition, extension, or increase of a special tax by a local government for the purpose of providing funding for local transportation projects requires the approval of 55% of its voters voting on the proposition, if the proposition proposing the tax includes certain requirements. This measure would prohibit a local government from expending any revenues derived from a special transportation tax approved by 55% of the voters at any time prior to the completion of a statutorily identified capital project funded by revenues derived from another special tax of the same local government that was approved by a 2/3 vote. The measure would also make conforming and technical, nonsubstantive changes.

Status – This bill was introduced in December of 2012 and approved by a Democrat-controlled Governance and Finance committee in May. From there it went to the committee on Transportation and Housing, also stacked with Democrats, who approved it in August. T&H sent it to the Rules committee for some amendments, then on to Appropriations.

SCA 7 – Lowers Vote Requirements for Tax Increases

Synopsis: This measure would lower from 2/3’s to 55% the voter-approval threshold for a city, county, or city and county to incur bonded indebtedness, exceeding in any year the income and revenue provided in that year, that is in the form of general obligation bonds issued to fund public libraries.

Status – I’m not sure, but it looks like this bill died in various committees –  Vote [required in committee] : 2⁄3. Appropriation: no. Fiscal committee: no. State-mandated local program: no. 

 SCA 8 – Lowers Vote Requirements for Tax Increases

Synopsis – This measure would provide that the imposition, extension, or increase of a special tax by a local government for the purpose of providing funding for transportation projects requires the approval of 55% of its voters voting on the proposition. The measure would also make conforming and technical, nonsubstantive changes.

Status – It looks like this one was tossed out by the Appropriations, Fiscal, and State Mandated Local Program Committees.

SCA 9 –  Lowers Vote Requirements for Tax Increases

Synopsis – This measure would provide that the imposition, extension, or increase of a special tax by a local government for the purpose of providing funding for community and economic development projects, as specified, requires the approval of 55% of its voters voting on the proposition. The measure would also make conforming and technical, nonsubstantive changes.

Status – this one also looks dead, having been refused in the same committees as #8

SCA 11 – Lowers Vote Requirements for Tax Increases

Synopsis – This measure would  condition the imposition, extension, or increase of a special tax by a local government upon the approval of 55% of the voters voting on the proposition, instead of the 2/3’s now required,  if the proposition proposing the tax contains specified requirements. The measure would also make conforming and technical, nonsubstantive changes.

Status – Again, it looks dead – Vote: 2⁄3. Appropriation: no. Fiscal committee: no.  State-mandated local program: no.

SCA 3 – Lowers Vote Requirements for Tax Increases

Synopsis – This measure would alternatively condition the imposition, extension, or increase of a parcel tax, as defined, by a school district, community college district, or county office of education upon the approval of 55% of its voters voting on the proposition, if the proposition meets specified requirements. This measure would also make conforming changes to related provisions.

Status –  Another one that appears to be dead – Vote: 2/3. Appropriation: no. Fiscal committee: no. State-mandated local program: no.  They’re already using this number for a new, unrelated bill. 

I’m not sure I understand how it works – could it be true that all but two of these amendments – those highlighted above in red – have already died in committee? I’ve sent off an e-mail to a legislative information site, I’ll see what I get.

Meanwhile, you may want to take another look at ACA 3 and SCA 4 – these are sufficient to load our pants full of tax bonds and hikes in sales tax by any “special district” like the city, county, schools, CARD, you name it. 

I don’t know if we can stop these amendments. The legislature is controlled by the tax and spend loonies right now, including “RINOS” who call themselves Republicans but spend like Democrats. We’ve got a taskmaster as Governor who treats us like bad children because we don’t earn enough money to cover his lavish lifestyle and that of his cronies. They ALL drink the CalPERS Kool Aid – every one of them is awaiting a pension, licking their chops. 

We can still stop these efforts locally.  We know the public sector is rattling chains to get a sales tax increase here, starting with ex-city manager and pensioneer Tom Lando, who used his own money to float a survey of the public a year or so ago. Lando is still chomping for somebody to sponsor a measure on an upcoming local ballot, saying his survey, which he won’t disclose to the public, indicated support.  But not 2/3’s support, is what I’m guessing, so he’s waiting for those amendments.  We know CARD is pursuing a bond to pay their CalPERS, no matter what kind of carrot they hold up to the public. They also ran a survey, using a long-debated aquatic center as a carrot, but that survey told them they could not get 2/3 support.  We need to let CARD and the city of Chico know, we’ll fight. We beat Measure J, and it only required 55 %. 

CARD has actually mentioned these amendments, telling a group who met to discuss a proposed aquatic center that they needed to contact their legislators. I’m telling you the same thing.  Ask for status information, and tell them why you are concerned. I don’t know if they know about these local tax increase efforts. I’m not that thrilled with either of these guys – I’m going to tell them my vote depends on their action in heading off these amendments. 

Dan Logue – http://arc.asm.ca.gov/member/AD3/?p=addresses

Jim Nielsen – http://district4.cssrc.us/content/my-offices

 

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