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By Eric Eisenhammer, Director of Grassroots Operations

Have you ever considered moving to another state where taxes are lower? With so many Californians relocating elsewhere, you probably have friends or family members who have moved.

It’s easy to feel like the situation is hopeless, but you have more power than you realize. By getting involved and networking with like-minded members of your community, you may be able to stop taxes from going up.

You can start by following the discussions at your local city council or county supervisors meeting. These meetings are usually viewable online on local government websites, and agendas must be made available to the public in advance.

In fact, when you participate and make a public comment in support of lower taxes and fiscal responsibility, your council members or supervisors may be thrilled that you showed up. Even in communities where most residents agree tax increases are unnecessary, elected officials still face consistent pressure to raise taxes. Lobbyists and government employees persistently make their case for more taxes, and they sometimes even wear down good leaders who were elected with good intentions.

Your Howard Jarvis Taxpayers Association makes a big difference by bringing 250,000 taxpayers together to speak with one powerful voice. As part of our effort to reverse the tax increase in Proposition 19 and reinstate Prop. 58, we’ve built a coalition including other taxpayer organizations, small business advocates and community activists from around California.

Likewise, in your own community, you can make a bigger difference when you join a local taxpayer group, or start one if one does not already exist, and become part of HJTA’s coalition. Visit www.hjta.org/Reinstate58 for more information.

While fighting taxes is a big job, if you have a passion for taxpayer rights, have a little extra time that you’re willing to invest in making a difference, and are good with other people, you will be well on your way. You also have a great resource on our website under Taxpayer Tools. There you’ll find valuable information, including:

Some people may feel insecure about getting involved because they mistakenly think they’re not qualified. Actually, taxpayer advocates come from all walks of life. You can’t be too young or too old to advocate for your taxpayer rights because it’s your money and you deserve a say in how it’s spent. Finally, if you have a question, your HJTA is here to help you with your taxpayer activism. You can call us, and you can reach me directly by e-mail at Eric@NoNewTaxes.net. We look forward to working with you!