California League of Cities says opposition mounts to wealthy corporation-backed ballot measure threatening voters’ rights and local services

March 31, 2022 – Sacramento – The California State Association of Counties and more than 80 local governments, including individual cities and special districts, have joined a coalition of local government associations, security officials public, infrastructure advocates, labor and community leaders in overwhelming opposition to the misnamed “Taxpayer Protection and Government Accountability Act”. Developers, mega-owners and other business interests are funneling millions of dollars in contributions to support the misleading measure. Supporters are currently collecting signatures for the November 2022 ballot.

“This misleading initiative would undermine the rights of local voters and their elected officials to make decisions about essential local services that residents rely on,” said Graham Knaus, executive director, California State Association of Counties (CSAC), which is the latest association of local authorities to oppose the measure. CSAC represents all 58 counties of California. “This creates major new tax loopholes at the expense of residents and will weaken our local services and communities.”

CSAC joins the League of California Cities, California Professional Firefighters, California Alliance for Jobs, Rebuild SoCal Partnership, SEIU California, AFSCME California, California State Council of Laborers, California Special Districts Association, California Contract Cities Association and more than 80 individual local associations. governments to oppose the measure. A full list of local governments and special districts that have taken positions opposing the initiative is included below.

“This far-reaching initiative would retroactively undo measures already passed by local voters, effectively undermining their rights to decide what their communities need,” said Carolyn Coleman, executive director and CEO of the League of California Cities. “In many cases, this will result in devastating cuts to essential services such as fire and emergency response, law enforcement, parks, libraries and resources to support homeless residents.”

Context:
A growing coalition of local governments, local government associations, labor and public safety leaders, and infrastructure advocates opposes this measure. The measure:

Undermines voter rights, transparency and accountability

  • The measure would be limit voter turnout by banning local advisory measures, where voters give politicians directions on how they want their local taxes spent.
  • It changes our constitution to make it more difficult for local voters to pass the necessary measures to fund local services and local infrastructure.
  • It also includes a hidden layout that would retroactively nullify measures passed by local voters — effectively undermine the right of voters to decide for themselves the needs of their communities.

Gives wealthy corporations a major loophole to avoid paying their fair share forcing residents and taxpayers to pay more.

  • The measure creates new constitutional loopholes that allow companies to pay far less than their fair share for the impacts they have on our communitiesincluding local infrastructure, our environment, water quality, air quality and natural resources — shifting the burden and forcing taxpayers to pay more.

Allows companies to dodge law enforcement when they violate environmental, health, public safety, and other laws.

  • The deceptive scheme also creates new loopholes that make it much harder for state and local regulators to impose fines and levies on companies that violate laws meant to protect our environment, public health and safety, and our neighborhoods.

Jeopardizes vital local and state services.

  • This far-reaching measure jeopardizes billions of dollars currently spent on essential state and local services.
  • It could force the cuts to public schools, fire and emergency response, law enforcement, public health, parks, libraries, affordable housing, homeless resident support services, mental health services , etc
  • It would also be reduce critical infrastructure funding such as streets and roads, public transport, drinking water, new schools, sanitation, utilities, etc.

Opens the door to frivolous lawsuits, bureaucracy and bureaucracy that will cost taxpayers and hurt our communities.

  • The measure will encourage frivolous lawsuits, bureaucracy and red tape that will cost local taxpayers millions — while significantly delay and halt investments in vital infrastructure and services.

Local governments, special districts, local government associations, labor and public safety leaders, and infrastructure advocates opposed to the CBRT measure:

Bernard P. Love