A glimmer of hope for California taxpayers

By Jon Coupal | California’s 2019 legislative session recently came to a merciful end. Despite the fact that the Legislature passed dozens of bills assaulting basic economic rights, it could have been far worse for taxpayers. Indeed, in remarkably good news, the most dangerous threat to Proposition 13 was defeated.

A weekly column by Jon Coupal

Proposition 13 has been called the third rail of California politics. Touch it, and the electric shock risks ending your political career. However, few have been as virulent in their hatred of Proposition 13 as Asm. Cecilia Aguiar-Curry, D-Winters. She introduced Assembly Constitutional Amendment 1, a bill to make it easier to raise taxes at the local level by lowering the vote needed to approve bonds and special taxes from two-thirds to just 55 percent.

Typically, direct assaults on Prop. 13 fail to receive votes of the full Assembly or Senate because it is difficult for Democrats in marginal or suburban districts to support them. But, emboldened by the fact that Democrats have a supermajority in the Assembly, Aguiar-Curry attempted to muscle the bill through. ACA 1 received just 44 votes, ten votes shy of the 54 needed for passage. Seventeen of 61 Democrats either opposed or abstained on the bill.

While we are thankful that Proposition 13 remains intact, we are under no illusions that the battle is over. Aguiar-Curry has already publicly pledged that she intends to try again.

The defeat of ACA 1 is not the only victory for taxpayers. Interestingly, a number of punishing tax-hike proposals never came up for full legislative votes.

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