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California taxpayers are fighting the good fight, holding their own, and have achieved victories that are not reflected in the negative press the state has been getting recently.
The Golden State’s taxpayers are represented by the Howard Jarvis Taxpayers Association (HJTA), which was formed initially to protect Proposition 13, passed on June 6, 1978. Prop 13 cut the property taxes of every California property owner by 60% and requires a 2/3 supermajority to raise taxes.
Thanks to Prop 13, the assessment rate is now only one percent for all California property and annual tax increases are limited to no more than two percent. When property is sold it is then reassessed at market value, but the rate remains at one percent and the new owner is then protected by the two percent cap on annual increases.
According to the HJTA website, by working through the Legislature, courts, and ballot initiatives, the Association has saved Californians billions of dollars. Estimates are that Prop 13 has saved California taxpayers over $528 billion dollars. And when you add in all of the other HJTA victories, the average California family of four has saved more than $57,000 as a direct result of the activities of Howard Jarvis and the Howard Jarvis Taxpayers Association.
Some recent victories include:
- Successfully campaigned against Proposition 180, which would have cost taxpayers $3.5 billion to purchase land for special interests.
- Sponsored and passed Proposition 218 — the Right to Vote On Taxes Act — to restore and expand taxpayer protections provided by Proposition 13.
- Went to court and successfully blocked an illegal $1.9 billion bond that the state was attempting to issue to cover its expenses. The taxpayers would have been obligated to repay principal and interest.
- Led the fight that defeated the powerful public employee union campaign behind Prop. 56 — a direct attack on Proposition 13, which would have made it way too easy to increase taxes.
- Led the successful campaign that defeated Prop. 88, which would have imposed a new state tax on all California property owners.
Recent lawsuits by HJTA have saved taxpayers nearly $4 billion. HJTA maintains a full-time presence in Sacramento to lobby against bills that are bad for taxpayers and to promote those that improve taxpayer protections.
Further information may be obtained from the HJTA website: http://www.hjta.org/