The California Taxpayers Association this week celebrated its 95th year of advocating for taxpayers and providing tax policy research to Californians and their elected officials. CalTax, a nonprofit, nonpartisan organization, was founded in Los Angeles on February 24, 1926, and has grown to be the state’s largest and oldest association representing taxpayers.

“The California Taxpayers Association gives taxpayers a voice when the government is making decisions that affect their family budgets,” CalTax President Robert Gutierrez said. “Paying taxes is a necessary part of life, but our association was founded on the principles that the government should never take more than it needs to do the job, and should get the most out of every tax dollar before asking for more.”

CalTax staff work on the association’s newsletter, circa 1926.

CalTax staff work on the association’s newsletter, circa 1926.

Taxpayers had organized various ad-hoc groups to represent their interests earlier in the state’s history, but dramatic increases in government spending after World War I and the passage of a major tax bill fueled the effort to create an institutional voice for taxpayers.

CalTax’s early successes included legislation making county budgets mandatory and establishing the public hearing principle with open government forums. Recent successes include defeating Proposition 15, last year’s ballot measure that proposed a massive property tax increase that would have led to higher consumer prices and fewer California jobs.CalTax was formed with a dual mission of opposing unnecessary taxation and supporting government efficiency to maximize the effectiveness of taxes that are necessary to run vital government programs.