Wednesday, July 25, 2012

13 Not a Lucky Number for Lawsuit

Proposition 13 of 1978 is noted mainly for its major reduction and capping of property taxes.  As has been reported previously on this blog, former UCLA Chancellor Charles Young filed a lawsuit challenging another feature of Prop 13, the requirement for a two-thirds vote in the legislature for tax increases. News reports indicate that the premise of the suit has been twice rejected.  It is unclear if there will now be a further appeal to the California Supreme Court.

Details:  …The 2nd District Court of Appeal in Los Angeles on Tuesday denied, without comment, an appeal of a lower court decision rejecting a challenge to [Prop 13] from Charles Young, the former chancellor of the UCLA campus. Although Proposition 13 was upheld by the state Supreme Court shortly after its passage, Young contended that by requiring a two-thirds legislative vote for imposing new taxes, the measure constituited a "revision" of the state constitution that could not be enacted by voters. While voter-approved initiatives can amend the constitution, revisions -- a more fundamental form of change -- must go through a constitutional convention or a constitutional revision commission…

Overturning the two-thirds requirement would be a major change in California's post-13 fiscal arrangements.  There have been several unsuccessful legal challenges to Prop 13 since it was enacted.  The most well known (but unsuccessful) challenge, which went before the U.S. Supreme Court, was the Nordlinger case.  Background:

Update: I am told an appeal of the current case to the California Supreme Court is likely.

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