Is local tax measure success a sign of things to come? 

Is local tax measure success a sign of things to come? 

As usual, Michael Coleman’s California City Finance website has an excellent recap of local tax measures and how they fared in the recent election. Local ballots contained 268 revenue measures — tax increases, tax extensions or bonds — of which 189 passed, or 71 percent.

The two largest categories of revenue instruments were:

  • General-fund city taxes requiring a majority vote. Of them, 61 of 88 passed, or 69 percent.
  • School bonds requiring a 55 percent vote. They fared even better, with 90 of 112 measures passing, or 80 percent.

In addition, school parcel taxes requiring a two-thirds vote were perfect on Election Day, with all eight passing. 

With pro-spending groups making no secret of their desire to raise many different state taxes, does the success of so many local taxes auger well for them?

State and local tax campaigns are fought in different environments. The governments closer to the people have a better connection to local voters and generally are held in higher regard than governments farther away.

Local tax measures and school bonds usually don’t face well-funded opposition campaigns.

In addition, local government support for tax measures skate the line of impartiality. One example cited by the California Taxpayers Association was a 1 percentage-point sales tax in El Cerrito, Measure R.  According to CalTax:

“Typical of many cities, El Cerrito mailed a campaign-style ‘Measure R Voter Guide‘ to residents, filled with photos of smiling children and police officers, and providing one-sided ‘information’ about the tax measure. The city’s taxpayer-funded mailing referred to Measure R as the ‘El Cerrito Preservation of Citywide Services Measure.’”

Pay more

At the Capitol Weekly’s election post-mortem conference, it was often pointed out that California’s electorate is made up of two-thirds progressive voters and two-thirds fiscally conservative voters. Obviously, there is an overlap and the election campaign struggle occurs in the overlapping area.

Voters locally showed a willingness to pay more. If they get their fill contributing to local government budgets, will they draw the line with efforts to raise state revenue?

The success of the local measures will encourage those who want to raise state taxes. The battle will be drawn.

The question is: When will the California voters hit their breaking point? We may find out in the 2016 election.

Measure R El Cerrito


Write a comment
    NTHEOC 18 November, 2014, 17:04

    You get what you pay for!!! If you don’t like it the move to somolia and let us know how it goes…..

    Reply this comment
    NTHEOC 18 November, 2014, 17:05

    You get what you pay for!!! If you don’t like it then move to somalia and let us know how it goes…..

    Reply this comment
    • bob
      bob 18 November, 2014, 20:02

      You parasites will kill your host long before they can move to Somolia.

      I hope Desmond is right and his generation harvests your organs with garden tools.

      Reply this comment
      • NTHEOC
        NTHEOC 18 November, 2014, 20:27

        I hope Desmond is right and his generation harvests your organs with garden tools.
        I’m sure all of you are raising your very own little Timothy Mcveighs!!

        Reply this comment
  3. Desmond
    Desmond 18 November, 2014, 18:44

    Yes, the best govt money can buy.

    Reply this comment
  4. Donkey
    Donkey 18 November, 2014, 19:05

    Ntheoc, taxpayers are receiving little in return for their taxes. 🙂

    Reply this comment
  5. Ultrawoman
    Ultrawoman 18 November, 2014, 19:47

    Voters are suckers for these measures! I wish they would vote for a Resource Based Economy!!!

    Reply this comment
  6. LetitCollapse
    LetitCollapse 18 November, 2014, 23:04

    This just goes to show the stupidity of the average California voter. Dumb as a box of rocks. Always fall for the propoganda. The pols screw them – then ask for more taxes – and the voter oblige. HAH! Sometimes I can’t wait for the next crash to clear the air. I really do hope I see it in my day. My generation deserves to experience it since we caused it. It would be a shame for all of us to die off and then the younger generations forced to pay for all our sins while they spit on our graves. I like to see people eat their own cooking. But that’s just me. 🙂

    Reply this comment
  7. Ulysses Uhaul
    Ulysses Uhaul 19 November, 2014, 09:56

    Time to pull the plug on the tome scribe!

    Reply this comment
  8. Dork
    Dork 19 November, 2014, 13:28

    Stupid Taxpayers, their flyer states that it is to “maintain current services”, so where is the Excess spending going that is Preventing them from Maintaining Current Services?? Yep EXPLODING PENSION OBLIGATIONS, don’t worry this Band-Aid approach to gaping wounds never works long.

    Reply this comment

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Tags assigned to this article:
TaxesEl CerritoJoel FoxMeasure RMichael Coleman

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