This article is from Cal-Tax Digest, published
by the California Taxpayers' Association.
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February 2000

Ballot Propositions
Cal-Tax March Ballot Positions

Adequate water and parks are among issues before California voters on March 7, along with propositions dealing with campaign finance, tobacco taxes and third-party lawsuits.

Considering benefits to the economy and taxpayers, the Board of Directors of the California Taxpayers' Association (Cal-Tax) has taken positions as outlined below.

The board, as of the deadline for this issue, had not taken a position on Proposition 26, the initiative to make it easier to gain voter approval of local school bonds. No recommendations were made on a number of measures considered outside Cal-Tax's purview.

Cal-Tax directors support Propositions 12 and 13, providing bond funding for parks and water projects totaling in excess of $4 billion.

They oppose Proposition 25, the campaign finance measure that would cost taxpayers $40 million or more a year. It would allow public financing of campaigns, including those of ballot initiatives, which are often ill-considered and poorly drafted.

Proposition 28 would repeal the cigarette tax hike approved in November 1998. Cal-Tax believes the tax should be repealed because it is punitive, singling out a segment of the population for taxation. It allows public funds to be budgeted by un-elected special interests.

The two referenda, Propositions 30 and 31, should be defeated, thus rejecting legislation passed last year at the behest of trial lawyers that would allow third-party lawsuits against insurance companies. These lawsuits would clog the courts and result in higher insurance premiums.

Cal-Tax made no recommendations on three bond measures, those dealing with libraries, crime laboratories and veterans' homes. While the association supports additional funding for these programs, the money should be appropriated from existing revenues through the normal state budget process.

Here are the Cal-Tax positions:

To access
Cal-Tax's in-depth analyses of the March 7 statewide election ballot propositions, please
click here.
CAL-TAX POSITION TAXPAYER IMPACT
Support - Proposition 12. The Parks,Water and Coastal Protection Act provides for the sale of $2.1 billion in state general obligation bonds to improve parks. Approval of this bond means that, without raising taxes, desirable parks, water and coastal protection become higher budget priorities for the state. Existing tax dollars will be invested in important public resource assets to improve quality of life and the business climate in California. Cal-Tax signed ballot arguments in support.
Support - Proposition 13. The Safe Drinking Water, Clean Water, Watershed Protection, and Flood Protection Act would authorize sale of $1.97 billion in state general obligation bonds to improve and maintain the state's water supply. Approval of this bond means that, without raising taxes, building water facilities, conservation, clean water and flood control become higher budget priorities for the state. Availability of clean water improves quality of life and the business climate in California. Cal-Tax signed ballot arguments in support.
Oppose - Proposition 20. The California State Lottery: Cardenas Textbook Act of 2000, which would dedicate 50 percent of unclaimed lottery prize money, interest and other surplus lottery funds to instructional materials. Unnecessarily earmarks lottery education funds, which takes away local discretionary power.
Oppose - Proposition 25. Limits campaign contributions; provides for public financing of campaigns, including ballot initiatives. Annual cost to taxpayers of $40 million or more at the state level and more than$1 million annually at the local level. Would encourage ill-considered, poorly drafted initiatives on statewide ballots. Latest initiative sponsored by special interest attempting to divert hard-earned tax dollars away from priority needs of the people.
Support - Proposition 28. Repeal of Additional Tobacco Surtax Enacted by Proposition 10, an initiative statute that would roll back the 50 cents-a-pack cigarette tax increase that was imposed by the Proposition 10 initiative on the November 1998 ballot. The tobacco tax punitively singles out a specific category of consumers for higher taxes, and allows these public funds to be budgeted and spent by unelected special interests. As smoking declines, so will the revenues, but the programs will require more money.
Oppose - Propositions 30 & 31. Allow third-party lawsuits against insurance companies. Passage of these referenda would enact 1999 trial lawyer-sponsored legislation that increases litigation and results in higher insurance costs.