Assembly Constitutional Amendment 1 is another attack on Proposition 13. It would make it easier to raise taxes by lowering the voter approval requirement for local bonds and tax increases from two-thirds to 55 percent if the money would be used for “public infrastructure” and certain types of public housing projects. Proposition 13 mandates a two-thirds vote requirement for all special taxes, but ACA 1 would wipe out that protection for nearly all local taxes because the category of “infrastructure” covers almost anything.
In 2000, voters lowered the threshold needed to approve school bonds from two-thirds to 55 percent. This has led to many more charges on property tax bills to pay for these debts. ACA 1 seeks to expand this lower vote threshold to help tax increases pass. This would lead to even more extra charges on property tax bills.
Assembly Constitutional Amendment 3 would gut Proposition 13. It would allow the Legislature to raise taxes statewide with a simple majority vote instead of the constitutionally required two-thirds vote established by Prop. 13. It also would allow the Legislature to define “wealth” to include unrealized capital gains in real estate, meaning the government would be empowered, by a simple majority vote, to create a new annual tax on the current market value of a home or other property.
ACA 3 also removes another important taxpayer protection known as the Gann Limit. This voter-approved limit on the growth of spending by state and local governments would be defined out of existence. The Gann Limit generally requires government entities to restrain their spending to conform to the growth of inflation and population. It was intended to prevent runaway government spending.
Although proponents say ACA 3 is part of a new “wealth tax” on the super-rich, the truth is that this constitutional amendment removes protections from all California property owners. The next step after taxing billionaires is pretty easy to guess.
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