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Everything We Thought We Knew About the Two-Thirds Voter Requirement Could Change if New Ruling Holds

March 28, 2016

By Scott Lewis : voiceofsandiego – excerpt

Two elections attorneys and San Diego City Attorney Jan Goldsmith believe a new court ruling could upend every assumption about passing new taxes in California via the initiative process.

Fred Woocher is one of California’s premier elections attorneys.

Woocher said we were right to read a recent decision by the state Fourth District Court of Appeal to have massive implications statewide on the future of politics and public affairs. It effectively means that the long-held assumption that you need to get approval from two-thirds of voters to increase special taxes is wrong — at least if you put the increase on the ballot through a citizens’ initiative.

Woocher says it really is that big of a deal.

He also says the decision is terrible.

“I’m not a big fan of all these requirements for votes on taxes and super-majority thresholds, but I just think this decision is wrong and not going to last,” Woocher said Thursday…

To him, the Constitution is talking about a government imposing a tax – no matter how the ordinance or law that created the tax is originated.

“It doesn’t matter whether it was generated by ordinance or motion of a City Council member or by a citizen with an initiative who wanted it on the ballot, either way it is a tax and has to be voted upon according to the requirements of the Constitution,” he said.

The decision, though, has given supporters of a new convadium in San Diego a lift.

“Let’s be clear that when one or both of these measures appear on the November ballot, they will only need 50 percent plus one, not two-thirds, of the votes to become law,” Sutton wrote in an op-ed for us.

This article relates to: Citizens’ Plan, Government, Must Reads(more)

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