Anti-tax initiative qualifies on California ballot

SACRAMENTO — An initiative that would prevent what business and anti-tax groups call hidden tax increases will appear on the November ballot.

California's secretary of state certified the initiative Thursday, the ninth to go before voters in November.

It is backed by the California Taxpayers' Association and the California Chamber of Commerce.

The proposition would stop state lawmakers from approving taxes disguised as fees without the constitutionally required two-thirds vote for a tax increase. Passing a fee right now only requires a majority vote of the Legislature.

Supporters say lawmakers try to skirt the high vote threshold required to approve taxes by labeling charges as fees on everyday items such as food and fuel.

The initiative also would require local officials to bring similar fee increases to voters.

Copyright 2010 The Associated Press.