HJTA Asks to Defend Prop. 13 Against Court Challenge
Sacramento — To ensure that Proposition 13 will be vigorously defended the Howard Jarvis Taxpayers Association today asked the California Supreme Court for permission to intervene in a lawsuit that challenges the two-thirds vote requirement for new state taxes.
On July 10 a former UCLA chancellor Charles Young filed suit directly in the Supreme Court attempting to strip from Republican legislators any influence over the resolution of California’s current budget deficit. The suit challenges the state constitution’s requirement of a two-thirds vote in the Legislature to pass a budget or raise state taxes.
Because Young’s lawsuit names as the "defendants" two officers of the Legislature who have no rights at stake and no incentive to defend Proposition 13 attorneys for the Jarvis Association asked the Court to add the Association as a defendant so that Proposition 13 would get a fair hearing.
"The easy way for politicians to balance the State’s budget would be to forward their bill to us in the form of new taxes" said HJTA President Jon Coupal. "Proposition 13 is the levy holding back a flood of new taxes at a time when California families are struggling to make ends meet. If Mr. Young wins his lawsuit the levy will be breached and many people will be wiped out."
Young’s lawsuit argues that when Proposition 13 was enacted 31 years ago in 1978 its two-thirds vote requirement was a "revision" of the constitution which could be accomplished only by convening a constitutional convention. If allowed to intervene HJTA will argue that the people of California through their reserved power of initiative had authority to increase the vote threshold for passing a particular type of legislation which they deemed potentially menacing to their financial security.