League of California Cities Positions on Propositions: No 26, No 19, Yes 22

The League Opposes both Propositions 26 and 19; Supports Proposition 22

League of California Cities

No on Prop 22

Proposition 22, the Local Taxpayer, Public Safety and Transportation Protection Act, on the November 2010 statewide ballot, would:
  • Prohibit the State from taking, borrowing or redirecting local taxpayer funds dedicated to public safety, emergency response and other vital local government services. Prop 22 would close loopholes to prevent taking local taxpayer funds currently dedicated to cities, counties, special districts and redevelopment agencies. It would also revoke the State’s authority to borrow local government property tax funds.
  • Protect vital, dedicated transportation and public transit funds from State raids.  Prop 22 would prohibit the State from redirecting, borrowing or taking the gasoline excise tax (HUTA) allocated to cities and counties for local street and road maintenance and improvements. Prop 22 also prohibits the State from taking or redirecting public transportation account revenues dedicated to public transit.
  • Protect local taxpayers by keeping more of our local tax dollars local where there’s more accountability to voters, and by ensuring once and for all that our gas taxes go to fund road improvements. Prop. 22 also reduces pressure for local tax and fee increases that become necessary when the State redirects local funds

Coalition List: Organizations : list of all groups who are supporters of Prop. 22

Transportation & Transit : describes how measure helps ensure funds intended for transportation & transit are protected from state raids

Community & Local Services : describes how measure helps protect local services from state raids

No on Prop 26

The League joined the California Tax Reform Association and the Sierra Club California as part of a panel opposing Prop. 26, the Stop Hidden Taxes Measure, before a joint hearing held by the Senate and Assembly Revenue and Taxation Committees on Sept. 29.

Witnesses included representatives from the Legislative Analyst’s Office and municipal attorney Michael Colantuono who testified on the potential effects of the measure on state and local government. Colantuono explained that the wording of the measure raises many questions about the scope of the measure’s impact on state and local revenue authority, much of which would likely have to be clarified through litigation.

League representatives also testified that the measure was drafted in a manner that was extremely broad and subject to wide interpretations that could undercut local ability to protect the public health, safety and welfare, further constrict local revenue authority, and that approval of the measure would result in litigation taking years to resolve.

The Wine Institute as well as John Dunlap, former California Air Resources Board chair, testified in support of Prop. 26. However, after being pressed by legislators with questions on the interpretation of specific provisions, these witnesses admitted that they were not the individuals who drafted the measure. Assembly Member Anthony Portantino (D-Pasadena) later stated that it was noteworthy that those who had drafted the measure were not there.

The League’s analysis of Prop. 26 is available on the League’s website. A sample resolution for cities to use to express opposition to Prop. 26 is also available on the League’s website.

No on Prop 19

The Assembly and Senate Public Safety Committees held a joint hearing on Sept. 21 on Prop. 19, the Regulate, Control and Tax Cannabis Act of 2010. As part of the local government panel of witnesses, the League expressed concerns about the implementation process challenges that would be created if the measure passes next month. Other witnesses included the numerous proponent and opponent stakeholders representing business, law enforcement, the criminal justice system, and community activists.

The League officially opposes Prop. 19 because of its potential to increase crime, the unsatisfactory experience with medical marijuana implementation, and the measure’s breadth and poor drafting. These policy concerns far outweigh the potential for additional local revenue that is touted by the proponents of the measure.

At the request of the committees, League staff provided testimony addressing how cities might implement Prop. 19 if it passes. Staff testified that the numerous ambiguities and legal interpretations of Prop. 19 will make for a difficult process. Each city will address their local needs in a different manner, as appropriate for their city. League staff shared snapshots of what the cities of Galt, San Jose, Rancho Cordova, and Oakland have done in either response to medical marijuana or in preparation for the legalizing of marijuana to show the wide range of possible implementation strategies that cities may use.

The League also communicated that because of the challenging questions Prop. 19 poses for land use and zoning, the adoption of local ordinances could be a drawn out process – a delay that individuals could use to their own advantage which would be to the detriment of local resources and their fellow community members.

The League’s analysis of Prop. 19 is available on the League’s website.

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