Taxpayer Protection and Government Accountability Act Qualifies for November 2024 Ballot

Industry News,

Measure Will Cancel New Transfer Taxes in Los Angeles and Santa Monica

Voters Will Finally Have the Guaranteed Right to Vote on All Future Taxes

The California Secretary of State has officially qualified the “Taxpayer Protection and Government Accountability Act” for the November 2024 ballot, which will give voters the final say on all new and higher taxes and create strong accountability and transparency on hidden taxes and fees that have driven up the cost of living for working California families. The Taxpayer Protection and Government Accountability Act will allow California voters the right to vote on all future taxes, and allow them take direct control over the cost-of-living crisis affecting working families throughout the state. Advocates say that the measure gives voters the accountability they deserve for their state and local taxes, ensuring politicians are transparent in how new and future tax dollars will be spent.

With California having among the highest taxes and cost of living in the U.S. today, the Taxpayer Protection and Government Accountability Act comes at a pivotal time. California has lost population for two straight years and a U.S. House of Representative seat for the first time in its history while soaring inflation and the ever-increasing costs related to new regulations and other hidden taxes and fees have added even more strain to working- and middle-class families.

California has seen a significant increase in taxes and fees in the past decade at the state and local levels and continues to face pressure for even more spending. State legislators proposed nearly $200 billion in higher taxes in 2022 despite the state's General Fund revenue doubling since 2011. In addition, California courts have eroded voter-approved taxpayer protections, including creating significant loopholes and confusion in Proposition 218 (1996) and Proposition 26 (2010).

The Taxpayer Protection Act will restore a series of voter-approved ballot measures that gave taxpayers, not politicians, more say over when and how new tax revenue is raised. Over the past decade, the California courts have created massive loopholes and confusion in long-established tax law and policy. The Taxpayer Protection Act closes those loopholes and provides new safeguards to increase accountability and transparency over how politicians spend our tax dollars.

Some of the Taxpayer Protection and Government Accountability Act's key provisions are:

  • Requires all new taxes passed by the Legislature to be approved by voters.
  • Restores two-thirds voter approval for all new local special tax increases.
  • Clearly defines what is a “tax” or “fee.”
  • Requires truthful descriptions for new tax proposals.
  • Holds politicians accountable by requiring them to clearly identify how revenue will be spent before any tax or fee is enacted.
  • Retroactive to January 1, 2022, and would, therefore, cancel recently passed real estate transfer taxes such as the City of Los Angeles’ Measure ULA.