This is the city: Los Angeles, California. I work here. I'm an ex-mayor. Los Angeles is a magnet for people from all over the world. Some of them run for public office. Inevitably some of them stray from the golden rule and rule for those that have the gold. That's when I go to work. My name is Yorty. I'm a dead pol.
PROP 26 - REQUIRING CERTAIN STATE & LOCAL FEES BE APPROVED BY 2/3 VOTE
PROP 26 IN BASIC TERMS:
To pass fees, levies, charges and tax revenue allocations, Prop 26 seeks to change the current simple majority vote requirement to a two- thirds majority vote . On State items this would be a two-thirds vote from the legislature. For City items, this would be a 2/3 majority by voters.
On the State side, a 2/3 vote would be required for certain tax measures , "that do not result in a net increase in revenue."
A LITTLE CIVICS REFRESHER:
- Simple Majority - When the highest number of votes determines the result. At a minimum it is a subset "consisting of more than half of the group."
- Super Majority - When more than a "simple majority" vote is required to approve an item. In California we currently have a 2/3 Super majority requirement for a State budget and for Parcel tax ballot measures. We have a 55% super majority for a School Bond measures.
- According to the Constitution of the State of California, Fees do not require a 2/3 Super Majority vote to be enacted. Fees only require a Simple majority.
- Budgets and taxes currently require a 2/3 Super Majority vote to be passed.
Supporters of Prop 26 call it the "Stop Hidden Taxes Initiative."
Opponents of Prop 26 call it the "Polluters Protection Act."
ARGUMENTS FOR A YES ON 26:
- Supporters believe fees, levies, etc are in fact taxes, and therefore should be subject to the state constitutional rule of a 2/3 majority vote required for income or sales tax increases.
- The Hidden taxes are making it difficult for businesses to stay in California.
- State and Local officials have been using "loopholes" to raise taxes by "disguising them as fees."
As fees they can be passed with a simple majority at the state level.
On the city level they then pass without a public vote.
ARGUMENTS FOR A NO ON 26
- Opponents say Prop 26 "will make it harder to impose fees on corporations that cause environmental or public health problems. For example, it would be harder to impose so-called "pollution fees" on polluting corporations because it will take a higher vote to pass such fees than is currently needed."
- Prop 26 is a "corporate loophole." It allows "companies cloak themselves as defenders of jobs and fairness, when they are gaming the system to maximize profits."
- If local governments are required to hold an election every time they want to impose a new fee, Proposition 26 will end up "harm[ing] local public safety and health, by requiring expensive litigation and endless elections."
PROP 26 A SUMMARY
Y - On Prop 26 allows us to change requirement for passing State fee, levies, and tax allocation to a 2/3 legislative majority vote, from the current simple majority. It will also require local 2/3 voter majority elections for City items.
N - On Prop 26 will have the State and City maintain the Simple Majority vote requirements for passing fee, levies, and tax allocations.