A VERY IMPORTANT ALLY
In the wars fought against tax increases,
changes to laws affecting the way taxes are collected, and changes
to safeguards that prevent certain types of taxes to be imposed,
alliances of taxpayer organizations are vital. There is one organization
that was unheralded in the defeat of Proposition 26 last March.
Let me offer a reprint of an article from "Dollars & Sense", a publication
of the National Taxpayers Union (NTU), headquartered in Alexandria,
"CALIFORNIA Voters may have decided
the fate of several Presidential candidates in the March 'Super
Tuesday' election, but they also stood behind one of the cornerstones
of the modern tax revolt. Citizens here turned down Proposition
26, a ballot proposal that would have effectively voided key voter
consent provisions for local tax increases contained in state law.
California law has long stipulated
that before a local bond (automatically funded by a property tax
hike) can be issued, it must receive the approval of 2/3 of the
voters in the affected jurisdiction. The 120 year-old provision
was designed to prevent local governments from fooling voters into
thinking the debt issues were cost-free, as well as to protect the
rights of property owners whose taxes would rise if the bonds were
issued. This law, combined with Proposition 13 and Proposition 218
that passed in 1978 and 1996 respectively, forms a solid tax accountability
mechanism that has recently brought the growth of government in
California closer to its residents' ability to pay for it.
Proposition 26 would have gutted the
2/3 requirement, opening the flood gates to mountains of new debt
financed by property tax hikes. The measure would have also created
a loophole that neither of the two more recent tax limits, Proposition
13 and Proposition 218, could easily plug.
NTU President John Berthoud noted that
Proposition 26 backers outspent pro-tax-payer forces by 16 to 1.
'If a margin that huge can't convince Californians to buy a lie,
nothing will,' he observed. In addition to a strong anti-26 effort
led by the Howard Jarvis Taxpayers Association, NTU mobilized its
own 35,000 California members against the measure through a mail
and talk radio campaign."
All Californian property owners owe
a vote of thanks to the National Taxpayers Union for their unsolicited,
but important support in defeating Proposition 26. I am sure they
will rally to the call once again to help us defeat the "Son of
Proposition 26", the nefarious Proposition 39 that will appear on
the November 7th ballot.
For more information on Proposition
39, visit web site www.saveourhomes.com.
Editor Jan O'Brien