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Tuesday, May 21, 2024 | Back issues
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Taxpayer Tests Prop. 13’s 2/3 Vote Section

LOS ANGELES (CN) - Section 3 of California's Proposition 13, which requires a two-thirds vote by both houses of the Legislature to raise taxes or enact a budget, violates the state constitution, a man claims in Superior Court. Before Prop. 13, the Legislature could enact a budget or raise taxes by simply majority vote.

Voters approved Proposition 13 in 1978, capping state property taxes. Charles Young takes issued with Section 3 of the proposition.

Before voters approved Prop. 13 and it was adopted as Article XIIIA of the state constitution, the Legislature required only a majority vote in both houses to enact a budget or increase taxes.

With the two-thirds vote requirement, the Legislature's ability to raise taxes became much more difficult. In the opinion of many critics, the cap on property tax and the two-thirds vote requirement began California's long slide into its continuing budget disasters.

Young claims Section 3 of Prop. 13 is not a legitimate amendment, and "erodes the governor's foundational constitutional power either to approve or veto bills containing budget and tax increase measures."

Young's attorney Rex Heinke said that though Prop. 13 has been challenged in the past, this is the first action against this particular section.

Heinke would not comment on why Young sued.

"I'm not really able to go into that right now," Heinke said. "Mr. Young's concern is that the current scheme violates the state constitution and that it changes the fundamental structure of the government."

Young asks the court to declare the two-thirds requirement unconstitutional.

He is represented by William Norris and Rex Heinke with Akin Gump.

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