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A First Step on Reform?

by: Brian Leubitz

Tue Nov 13, 2012 at 13:40:24 PM PST

Reform would also require voter approval

by Brian Leubitz

Fresh off Robert's call for action, the Democratic Supermajority is now looking at one of the bizarre aspects of our election law. Specifically, our system of differing thresholds for taxes, bonds, and other ballot measures.

As it stands right now, most targeted tax increases require a 2/3 vote of the people. Many general tax increases only require a simple majority. Why is is that we require a higher vote total for a more planned out increase? And of course, bonds require the seemingly random 55%. Why 55% you ask? Well, it's more than 50% of course.

But that may change with the Democratic supermajority taking a look. Dan Walters has it as one of Sen. Steinberg's top priorities.

Among other things, it means that Democrats are empowered to place constitutional amendments on the statewide ballot without any Republican support and legislative leaders - Senate President Pro Tem Darrell Steinberg, particularly - want to reduce the vote requirements for local government and school district taxes, particularly those parcel taxes.

If schools could raise more money locally through parcel taxes, it would reduce the state budget's school finance burden.

Twenty-five school parcel tax measures were on the ballot last week and 15 of them passed, including three in the $200-per-parcel neighborhood. And all but one of those that failed achieved more than 50 percent approval, indicating that were the vote requirement to be reduced, parcel taxes could generate a substantial flow of revenue. (SacBee)

Walters, and the Sacramento CW, see this as a moderate first step. And moderate it is. After all, only a bare majority is required at the ballot (after the 2/3 approval of the legislature) to change this system. And if we can change the constitution by a bare majority, shouldn't we be at least able to raise our taxes?

This isn't going to overhaul Sacramento, but if it happens, it is one solid baby step.

Brian Leubitz :: A First Step on Reform?
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Prop 37? (0.00 / 0)
New Dem majority could pass this.  Seriously where is the article on what went wrong.  I didn't know anyone that was against prop 37 and I mainly hang with conservatives.  Any ideas?

Prop 37 (0.00 / 0)
I was really disappointed that Prop 37 lost

BUT, you can't overturn the will of the voters
It was defeated by chemical industry and Agribusiness money....
But, it was defeated

Somebody ask Molly Munger to finance a Prop 37 substitute
This time with money for campaign commercials

[ Parent ]
37 and freemarket (0.00 / 0)
Talking to a buddy I found a silver lining.  With Prop 37 not passing "not GMO" foods can be labelled as such and charge the premium for it (with the higher margin helping those producers).  But from here on out assume everything else is GMO.

[ Parent ]
Different perspective than Robert's (0.00 / 0)
but similar point:

Thursday, November 8, 2012
Calif. Gov. Brown: Dems dare not use their hard-won power for good
by Simplify

chieftains (0.00 / 0)
I always figured that the Dems are more cautious because its a big tent with very, VERY noise groups tenuously held together.  Any bold action will have other groups bolt.

contrast to the GOP which is known for its dscipline and mainly being just rich, which, and religious it has been far easier for them to stick together and make big sweeps in policy (exception abortion which is mostly rhetoric)

[ Parent ]
Give the voters a chance to restore local parcel taxes to majority rule. (5.00 / 1)
It would be a good test of the mood of the electorate and the resolve of the Jarvis Jihadis.

However, the state must still correct the financial imbalance between schools in high-value communities and those in low-value communities.

Agreed (3.50 / 2)
Split the tax rolls, and reassess commercial property that hasn't been revalued since the passage of Prop. 13. Rules concerning residential property should stay as is.

[ Parent ]
com prop tax (0.00 / 0)
yeah we've had talks on here before that are pretty reasonable and shouldnt scare away business

[ Parent ]
property tax is the problem (0.00 / 0)
pegging school sto property tax leads to the biggets imbalance.  Let local areas use property tax for other local services and keep education centralized off of income and sales tax.

[ Parent ]
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