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Taxpayers scored an important victory in February when the secretary of state announced that the Taxpayer Protection and Government Accountability Act has successfully qualified for the November 2024 ballot.

A late push for extra signatures, with an assist from thousands of HJTA Members who volunteered their time, was key to collecting a total of 1.4 million raw signatures, enough to exceed the required minimum of nearly 1 million valid signatures of registered voters needed to qualify.

“The Taxpayer Protection Act was written to restore a series of voter-approved ballot measures that gave taxpayers, not politicians, more say over when and how new tax revenue is raised,” explained HJTA President Jon Coupal. “Over the past decade, the California courts have created massive loopholes and confusion in long-established tax law and policy. The Taxpayer Protection Act closes those loopholes and provides new safeguards to increase accountability and transparency over how politicians spend our tax dollars.”

Some of the measure’s key provisions include:

  • Require all new taxes passed by the Legislature to be approved by voters
  • Restore two-thirds voter approval for all new local special tax increases
  • Clearly define what is a tax or fee
  • Require truthful descriptions of new tax proposals
  • Hold politicians accountable by requiring them to clearly identify how revenue will be spent before any tax or fee is enacted

The initiative, backed by the Howard Jarvis Taxpayers Association together with the California Business Roundtable and the California Business Properties Association, would close loopholes by amending the state constitution, overriding any conflicting court rulings that were based on a disputed interpretation of the constitution’s current language.

One such State Supreme Court ruling, in a 2017 case known as California Cannabis Coalition v. City of Upland, has led to decisions in lower courts declaring that some local taxes for special purposes had passed, even though they received less than the two-thirds vote required by Proposition 13. If the Taxpayer Protection and Government Accountability Act is approved by voters, many of these taxes would have to go back on the ballot again and would expire unless approved by a two-thirds vote.

For more information on this important initiative, visit RightToVoteOnTaxes.com.