Opposition mounts to wealthy corporation-backed ballot measure threatening voter rights and local services
More than 80 cities and the association representing California counties join Cal Cities; public safety, labor, and infrastructure advocates; and a growing number of special districts in a fight against the California Business Roundtable initiative that would give corporations major new loopholes to avoid paying their fair share
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, public safety officials, infrastructure advocates, labor unions, and community leaders in overwhelming opposition to the deceptively named “Taxpayer Protection and Government Accountability Act.” Developers, mega-landlords, and other corporate interests are channeling millions of dollars in contributions to support the misleading measure. Proponents are currently gathering signatures for the November 2022 ballot.
“This deceptive initiative would undermine the rights of local voters and their elected officials to make decisions on critical local services that residents rely upon,” said Graham Knaus, Executive Director, California State Association of Counties (CSAC), which is the latest local government association to oppose the measure. CSAC represents all 58 of California’s counties. “It 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, the California Special Districts Association, California Contract Cities Association, and more than 80 individual local governments in opposing the measure. A complete list of local governments and special districts that have adopted positions to oppose the initiative is included below.
“This far-reaching initiative would retroactively cancel measures that were already passed by local voters— effectively undermining their rights to decide what their communities need,” said Carolyn Coleman, Executive Director and CEO, League of California Cities. “In many cases, this will result in devastating cuts to critical services like fire and emergency response, law enforcement, parks, libraries, and resources to support unhoused residents.”
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 limit voter input by prohibiting local advisory measures, where voters provide direction to politicians on how they want their local tax dollars spent.
- It changes our constitution to make it more difficult for local voters to pass measures needed to fund local services and local infrastructure.
- It also includes a hidden provision that would retroactively cancel measures that were passed by local voters — effectively undermining the rights of voters to decide for themselves what their communities need.
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 corporations to pay far less than their fair share for the impacts they have on our communities, including local infrastructure, our environment, water quality, air quality, and natural resources — shifting the burden and making individual taxpayers pay more.
Allows corporations to dodge enforcement when they violate environmental, health, public safety, and other laws.
- The deceptive scheme also creates new loopholes that makes it much more difficult for state and local regulators to issue fines and levies on corporations that violate laws intended to protect our environment, public health and safety, and our neighborhoods.
Jeopardizes vital local and state services.
- This far-reaching measure puts at risk billions of dollars currently dedicated to critical state and local services.
- It could force cuts to public schools, fire and emergency response, law enforcement, public health, parks, libraries, affordable housing, services to support homeless residents, mental health services, and more.
- It would also reduce funding for critical infrastructure like streets and roads, public transportation, drinking water, new schools, sanitation, utilities, and more.
Opens the door for frivolous lawsuits, bureaucracy, and red tape 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 delaying and stopping investments in infrastructure and vital services.
Local governments, special districts, local government associations, labor and public safety leaders, and infrastructure advocates opposed to the CBRT measure:
- League of California Cities
- California Professional Firefighters
- California Alliance for Jobs
- Rebuild SoCal Partnership
- SEIU California
- AFSCME California
- California State Council of Laborers
- California State Association of Counties
- California Special Districts Association
- California Contract Cities Association
Individual Cities and Local Governments
- Agoura Hills
- Angels Camp
- Bell Gardens
- Blue Lake
- Buena Park
- Corte Madera
- Desert Recreation and Park District
- El Cerrito
- Hermosa Beach
- King City
- La Palma
- Mill Valley
- Monterey Park
- North County Fire Protection District
- Palm Desert
- Pismo Beach
- Rancho Cucamonga
- Rolling Hills Estates
- Rosamond Community Services District
- San Jose
- San Juan Bautista
- San Leandro
- San Pablo
- San Rafael
- Signal Hill
- South Gate
- West Hollywood
- Yuba City