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May 10, 2005 > ACA 7 - Local Special Taxes

ACA 7 - Local Special Taxes

Assemblymember Joe Nation (D-San Rafael) introduced Assembly Constitutional Amendment 7 in December 2004 which would reduce the vote threshold necessary for local communities to raise revenues to meet local needs. Under current law, special taxes (e.g. sales taxes, hotel occupancy taxes, parcel taxes) can only be increased upon the approval of two- thirds of local voters. It is not uncommon for special tax measures for such things as police or fire services, school funding, libraries, and roads to receive the approval of 60-65 percent of the voters but still fail.

ACA 7 reduces the vote requirement to a 55 percent majority vote of local citizens. ACA 7 does not make it any easier for the State Legislature to increase taxes, nor does it allow for an increase in the ad valorem property tax, which is limited to 1 percent of value as a result of Prop 13 in 1978. As a proposed constitutional amendment, ACA 7 will require the approval of voters on a statewide ballot, in addition to approval by the Legislature, prior to taking effect.

Currently the bill has passed out of Assembly Local Government Committee by a vote of 5-2.


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