Recommendations on 2010 State Propositions

Sonoma County Taxpayers’ Association’s Board of Directors have made the following recommendations on the State Propositions that will appear on the November 2, 2010 ballot:

Proposition 19 – Changes California Law to Legalize Marijuana and allows it to be regulated and taxed.
Association’s Recommendation: No position (The Board split evenly for and against the Proposition.

Proposition 20 – Redistricting of Congressional Districts.
Association’s Recommendation: Yes. This will expand Proposition 11 passed in 2008 to create a redistricting commission to include Congressional Districts. It takes the authority away from politicians in the legislature and gives it to an independent commission.

Proposition 21 – Establishes $18 annual vehicle license surcharge.
Association’s Recommendation: No. The primary concern is that existing state park funding will be diverted to other uses resulting in the new surcharge becoming the sole source of state park funding with no improvement in state park programs.

Proposition 22 – Prohibits the State from taking funds for transportation or local government projects and services.
Association’s Recommendation: Yes. A yes vote would prevent the state from using fuel taxes to pay debt-service on current and future transportation bonds. It would also prohibit the State from borrowing the local share of fuel taxes to balance the state’s budget. The state is using local property tax revenue to pay for schools, while starving local redevelopment agencies. Additionally, the measure would prohibit the state from using local vehicle license fees funds. This borrowing has made it difficult for local government to provide needed services.

Proposition 23 – Suspends State laws requiring major industrial concerns to report and reduce greenhouse gas emissions until unemployment drops below a specified level for a full year.
Association’s Recommendation: Yes. A yes vote would place AB 32 in abeyance until unemployment rate is 5.5% or less for four consecutive quarters. The Legislative analyst concludes the suspension of AB32 would result in modestly higher economic activity which translates to potentially significant increase in revenues to those industry’s affected, as well as state and local governments.

Proposition 24 – Repeals recent legislation that would allow businesses to carry back losses, share tax credits and use a sales based income calculation to lower taxable income.
Association’s Recommendation: No. This proposal if approved would reduce economic vitality as businesses are required to pay more to the state and that there are no guarantees the state would use the additional revenue for any particular purpose. This is an attempt by the legislature to provide more funds to the General Fund at the expense of business creation and jobs.

Proposition 25 – Changes legislative vote requirement to pass a budget from two-thirds to a simple majority vote.
Association’s Recommendation: No. This would give the majority party the power to pass budgets and taxes with a simply majority. It is in the taxpayers interest to keep the fence high for passage of a budget or taxes.

Proposition 26- Increases legislative vote requirement to two-thirds for State imposed levies and fees.
Association’s Recommendation: Yes. This would force the legislature to approve levies and fees, which are in actuality taxes, with a two-thirds vote as required by Proposition 218 for any new taxes.

Proposition 27 – Eliminates State Commission on redistricting. Consolidates authority for redistricting back to the state legislature.
Association’s Recommendation: No. This would repeal Proposition 11 passed in 2008 that created a redistricting commission and make null Proposition 20 which increases the redistricting commission’s responsibility to include congressional districts. This is an attempt by the state legislature to undo what the state voters wanted. That is, taking redistricting out of the hands of Sacramento who have gerrymandered districts to their political advantage.

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