Initiative #21-0042A1

Background

Initiative #21-0042A1:
Limits Ability of Voters and State and Local Governments to Raise Revenues for Government Services. Initiative Constitutional Amendment.

The purported “Taxpayer Protection and Government Accountability Act,” a statewide initiative measure to amend the California Constitution sponsored by the California Business Roundtable (“CBRT”), is the most consequential proposal to limit the ability of the state and local governments to enact, modify, or expand taxes, assessments, fees, and property-related charges since the passage of Proposition 218 (1996) and Proposition 26 (2010). If enacted, public agencies would face a drastic rise in litigation that could severely restrict their ability to meet essential services and infrastructure needs.

In order to qualify for the ballot, proponents must collect 997,139 valid signatures from California voters. The California Secretary of State’s deadline to submit signatures to counties to qualify for the November, 2024 statewide general election is August 2, 2022. 

CSDA has joined a coalition of local government leaders in adopting an Oppose position on Initiative 21-0042A1 and encourages all special districts, partners, and community leaders to join the coalition by passing a board resolution. Once approved, please email your resolution to advocacy@csda.net and consider issuing a press release to local media. Individuals may also register their opposition with the growing coalition by emailing their name, title, and organization.


Quick Summary

Ballot Initiative 21-0042A1 would result in the loss of billions of dollars annually in critical state and local funding, restricting the ability of local agencies and the State of California to fund services and infrastructure by:

  • Adopting new and stricter rules for raising taxes, fees, assessments, and property-related fees.
  • Amending the State Constitution, including portions of Propositions 13, 218, and 26 among other provisions, to the advantage of the initiative’s proponents and plaintiffs; creating new grounds to challenge these funding sources and disrupting fiscal certainty.
  • Restricting the ability of local governments to issue fines and penalties to corporations and property owners that violate local environmental, water quality, public health, public safety, fair housing, nuisance and other laws and ordinances.

The initiative includes provisions that would retroactively void all state and local taxes or fees adopted after January 1, 2022 if they did not align with the provisions of this initiative. This may also affect indexed fees that adjust over time for inflation or other factors. Effectively, it would allow voters throughout California to invalidate the prior actions of local voters, undermining local control and voter-approved decisions about investments needed in their communities.