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CA Supreme Court decision could make it easier for local governments to raise taxes

The California Supreme Court has handed down a ruling that could make it slightly easier for citizens to use ballot initiatives to raise new local taxes.

The court on Monday ruled that ballot initiatives sponsored by citizens are not subject to the same constraints as tax increases proposed by city and county elected officials. The court interpreted sections of the state Constitution impacted by Proposition 218. Approved in 1996, the proposition spelled out how local governments may levy new taxes and fees.

Writing for the majority, Justice Mariano-Florentino Cuellar says that the law, as it stands, does not bind voters to the constraints placed on local governments by Proposition 218, which intends to make it more difficult to create new taxes.

With AP files.

Guests:

Jon Coupal, president of the Howard Jarvis Taxpayers Association, a taxpayers’ rights group

Roger Jon Diamond, attorney based in Santa Monica; he argued the California Supreme Court appeals case, California Cannabis Coalition vs. City of Upland, which could make it easier for citizens to use ballot initiatives to raise taxes