‘Voters have delivered a statement that they are experiencing tax and bond fatigue, and they don’t trust either municipal or state politicians to spend that money effectively. A second California tax revolt could be upon us.’
~Jon Coupal, Howard Jarvis Taxpayers Association President
California voters just sent a loud message to California politicians by rejecting half of the 236 local tax and bond measures on the March ballot. Los Angeles County had nine different school bonds and three parcel taxes on the March 3rd Primary Election ballot.
“Of the 121 school bonds on the ballot in various parts of the state, 64 were rejected, 21 were approved and 36 are too close to call because they are within 3.5 percent of their 55 percent vote threshold with many mail-in and provisional ballots still being counted,” according to the California Taxpayers Association.
This is a significant change as voters typically approve school bond measures.
“The election results reinforce recent polling that said Californians across the political spectrum believe their state and local taxes are too high,” CalTax President Robert Gutierrez said. “We hope elected officials and special interests will listen to the public and drop their remaining plans to further increase the tax burden on hard-working Californians.”
Of particular note is the failure of school bond Proposition 13, which Jon Coupal, Howard Jarvis Taxpayers Association President says is the beginning of the modern tax revolt movement. “The 2020 version of Prop. 13 was a massive $15 billion school facility bond measure, the largest such bond in state history,” Coupal said. “The Howard Jarvis Taxpayers Association led the opposition with a guerrilla-style campaign relying on a relatively modest $250,000 statewide radio buy, social media and nearly a hundred interviews with television, radio and print media. This was in comparison to the more than $20 million spent by Gov. Gavin Newsom and his allies.”
The Democrat supermajority got greedy.
“The 237 tax and bond measures on local ballots marked a significant increase from the 87 that appeared on the June 2016 presidential primary ballots (67 of those measures were approved),” CalTax reported. “In November 2016, however, local ballots were loaded with 427 tax and bond measures, and 353 were approved.”
“Many school districts and local governments used biased ballot descriptions to encourage a ‘yes’ vote, and also spent tax dollars on pre-election “educational outreach” that clearly advocated for tax and bond measures,” CalTax reported. “The Los Angeles County Fire Department, for example, prepared an ‘impartial’ slideshow that included the Measure FD campaign’s talking points, but didn’t discuss how the tax increase would increase housing costs and retail prices for residents.”
Jon Coupal explains: “Local governments of all kinds are accustomed to these measures passing, but perhaps no more. One reason may be lack of voter confidence that the tax dollars they approve actually end up going where elected officials say they are going.”
CalTax’s detailed description of the measures and the preliminary results is here.
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