Prop 13

Did The California Supreme Court “Rip A Huge Hole” In Prop 13 & 218?

New decision could lower voter threshold for local government taxes by voter initiative

UPDATE: This post has been modified from its original version to reflect some ambiguity in the court’s decision that I missed on first read. California local governments have long been stymied in efforts to raise taxes for basic infrastructure and services by California’s constitution.  Two voter-approved constitutional amendments, Prop 13 and Prop 218, require that …


Breaking News: California Supreme Court Refuses To Hear Appeal On Industry Challenge To Cap-And-Trade Auction

Industry once again loses leverage over shaping the program post 2020

The California Chamber of Commerce has just lost its case against the state’s cap-and-trade auction, with the news from the Los Angeles Times that the California Supreme Court has refused to hear an appeal from the state appellate court. This means the auction mechanism in the cap-and-trade program is valid at least through 2020. As …


How Prop 13 Has Wrecked California

Time to roll back the 1978 tax measure

Prop 13 is supposedly the third rail of California politics. The 1978 ballot measure effectively froze property taxes in the state and ultimately ensured that any new tax increases require a 2/3 vote, whether in the legislature or among local voters approving a new city or county tax measure. It can only be undone if …


How the Democrats’ Supermajority Can Improve California’s Downtowns

Now that Democrats in California have achieved the Pete Wilson Supermajority in the legislature, they should focus on two key reforms to revitalize the state’s downtowns and ensure more efficient land use. First, the supermajority should put on the ballot a constitutional initiative to lower the threshold for passing local tax measures to fund transit. …


New Developments for Cap-and-Trade in California

There’s big news for California’s cap-and-trade program to control the state’s greenhouse gas emissions on two fronts this week.  Cara alluded to the first in her post this week about California Democrats gaining a supermajority in both houses of the legislature after Tuesday’s election.  The legislative development is important because  the state legislature can probably …


Carbon Auctions & Prop 13

California is planning to auction some of the carbon allowances in its new cap-and-trade system.  There’s an interesting question about whether  the auctions should be considered a “tax” under state law, which may turn in part on what the money is used for.  If the auctions are considered a tax, they would run into trouble …