This article was posted on Monday, Jun 01, 2015

In Sacramento today, the ONLY thing protecting your wallet is Proposition 13 – specifically its two-thirds majority vote requirement to impose and raise taxes.

Pro-tax Senate and Assembly majorities want to get rid of that Prop. 13 protection.  To prevent that tax disaster, I urge you to please sign and return the petition on the following page.  When you do, I hope you can enclose a special HJTA donation of $65 or more to help us protect Proposition 13 because seven dynamics are coming together to raise taxes and undermine Prop. 13.  

Here they are: 

  1.  On January 9, Governor Brown laid out the largest spending budget in California History.
  2. Senate and Assembly leaders responded with “Good start, Governor.  But we must spend many billions more.”  After a token nod to fiscal responsibility, the pro-tax majority demanded higher spending on education (particularly universities), Medi-Cal under Obamacare, the social service safety net, plus the need to squirrel away money to offset the crisis in unfunded pension liabilities coming due in the next 18 months.
  3. Within hours, Assembly Speaker Bob Hertzberg introduced a bill that would create California’s first across-the-board sales tax on services.  Outrageous!  This is a huge and dangerous shift in tax policy.  Do you really want a new tax imposed on y our haircuts, piano lessons for your children, auto or furnace repairs and dry cleaning?   [AND…AOA membership, credit, eviction and criminal reports?]  This new tax hit would cost Californians a minimum of ten billion dollars every year!
  4. Many more kinds of taxes and tax increases are already under discussion! 

The Legislature is also exploring a new oil severance tax, new tobacco taxes and, worst of all, changing how business real estate is assessed and taxed, requiring a constitutional revision that threatens core principles of Proposition 13.

Any day now, we’ll see proposals for new anti-Prop. 13 Constitutional Amendments that would lead to higher parcel taxes, homeowner bond debt and other taxes paid only by homeowners.

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This is all really bad news because: 

  1.  Most veteran members of the Senate and Assembly are proven tax-and-spenders which means that …
  2. Decisive votes could be cast by any of the 37 rookie legislators just sworn in, many too young to appreciate the real value of Proposition 13.  This is perhaps the most compelling reason for you to sign and return the following petition right now.   

Your petition is our best weapon to convince those 37 rookies and 38 new committee chairs to listen to their constituents and PROTECT PROPSOTION 13.  When returning your signed petition, please enclose a generous HJTA special donation if you can.  But no matter what, send that petition today because… 

  1.  Tax-raisers have their own urgent deadline! 

Proposition 30’s “temporary” sales and income taxes are due to expire next year.  Politicians already argue that they should be renewed, but now that voters have felt the pain of Prop. 30 taxes, they’ll be a much harder sell.

Big-spending politicians need to lock in billions in new tax revenue this year.  They want new kinds of taxes and new tax increases to pay for the billions in spending that they want to add to today’s budget.  Plus, to offset the revenue, they will lose next year when Prop. 30 taxes expire.

But … only one thing stands in their way – Proposition 13’s constitutional requirement of a two-thirds vote for any NEW taxes and any tax increases.

Overspending politicians are desperate to break down that barrier.  But actually weakening Proposition 13 itself requires a two-thirds vote!  Unfortunately, a solid majority of State Legislators cannot be trusted to protect taxpayers or Proposition 13.  If they can recruit even a few of the rookies, the pro-taxers could easily gain the two-thirds majority they need to Prop. 13 and taxpayers a real harm.

Your petition will help make a decisive difference.  It tells your elected representatives and the entire State Legislature to: 

  • Protect Proposition 13’s two-thirds majority vote requirement to increase parcel taxes, homeowner bond debt and other taxes paid only by homeowners and 
  • Protect Proposition 13’s two-thirds vote requirement to enact any new state taxes and any increases in state taxes.

Governor Brown’s budget already spends more than any budget in California history.  Legislative leaders want to spend more.  Taxpayers demand they spend less.

Californians already pay among the highest taxes in the nation.  Enough!  Return to petition to help us convince the State Legislature to say “NO!” to weakening Proposition 13 and help us tell them “NO!” to new kinds of taxes, higher taxes – tens of billions more in taxes on top of the biggest tax budget in our history.

Please, right now, sign that petition and return it today!  At the same time, please give us enough resources to protect your wallet and Proposition 13.  Please enclose your special HJTA donation of $65, $125 or more.  Be as generous as you can and be as quick as you canOne incredibly expensive new services tax is already on the table.  More will soon follow, aimed specifically at homeowners.

Thank you for your quick action.  Your HJTA cannot win without the dedicated support of members like you! 

P.S.  As I explained, Proposition 13 is the only barrier to billions of dollars in tax increases and tens of billions of dollars in new kinds of taxes.  Plus, billions in completely new parcel taxes, homeowner bond debt and other taxes paid only by homeowners.

Sacramento’s pro-tax majority is attacking that barrier every way they can, from amendments that would severely weaken Proposition 13 to outright repeal.

When you sign and return the petition on the next page, you help us protect Proposition 13, protect yourself, protect all property owners and protect all California taxpayers.

Please do this today, also enclosing a special HJTA donation of at least 65. 

Jon Coupal is President of the Howard Jarvis Taxpayers Association – California’s largest grass-roots taxpayer organization dedicated to the protection of Proposition 13 and the advancement of taxpayers’ rights.