City Council adopts resolution opposing proposed voter initiative to remove local control
City Council Update
April 15, 2023
On Monday, April 4 the Tehachapi City Council unanimously approved a resolution opposing Initiative 21-0042A1 which has collected enough signatures to appear on the Statewide November 2024 ballot.
Also known as the “Taxpayer Protection and Government Accountability Act” the Tehachapi City Council was quick to note that the catchy title is misleading, as this proposal to change the California State Constitution would cost local taxpayers local control, including invalidating the 57% approval for ‘Measure S’ the one-cent sales tax increase passed to fund emergency services and infrastructure in the City of Tehachapi in November of 2022.
The “Taxpayer Protection and Government Accountability Act” is sponsored by the California Business Roundtable, the lobbying arm of some of the state’s wealthiest corporations who are seeking to reduce their own payments and create constitutional loopholes that allow these corporations to pay less than their fair share for the impacts on local communities, including infrastructure and shifting that burden to individual taxpayers. Additionally, these corporations are seeking to dodge enforcement when they violate environmental, health and public safety laws.
Targeted in as part of this proposal are the 106 tax initiatives approved by voters in municipalities and counties across the state in the November 2022 election that do not have a specific sunset date. Those include the City of Tehachapi’s Measure S and the County of Kern’s Measure K. In addition, this proposed initiative would prohibit local advisory tax measures brought forth by the public, in addition it would impact and eliminate a variety of cost-recovery and impact fees paid by developers for their impact to a community including water, wastewater, traffic impact along with code enforcement and nuisance violations.
Many fees would now require a new legal standard of “clear and convincing evidence” to be validated, costing taxpayers millions of dollars in legal challenges, studies and administrative costs.
It is estimated that if placed on the ballot and approved this initiative would cost the City of Tehachapi an estimated $6 million annually in lost revenues and additional costs. These costs would in turn be paid by current taxpayers and result in reduced services and staffing for law enforcement, public safety, streets and road maintenance and development services.
The City of Tehachapi is joining a coalition of California municipalities to oppose this measure via The League of California Cities. In addition, with Measure S funding now in jeopardy, the City of Tehachapi will not be budgeting much of the anticipated revenue from the one-cent sales tax increase until more clarity on the future of this initiative and its impact to the voter-approved measure is available.
Read the full staff report here: acrobat.adobe.com/link/review?uri=urn:aaid:scds:US:98b89d74-fe3b-3fc7-a740-1c40687030a0
Watch the Tehachapi City Council Meeting when the Resolution was presented (26:16 mark) http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eaPbcazYVQk
Listen to ‘TehachaPod’ as the true cost of the “Taxpayer Protection and Government Accountability Act” is discussed in depth following the City Council Meeting.
The list of corporations supporting the “Taxpayer Protection and Government Accountability Act” through the California Business Roundtable are as follows: Aera Energy, Albertsons, Altria, Anthem Blue Cross, Automobile Club of Southern California, Bittle Enterprises (Enterprise Rent-a-Car), Blackstone, Caruso Management (Rick Caruso), Chevron, C.J. Segerstrom & Sons, Dart Container, DLA Piper, Douglas Emmett, Eli Lilly & Company, Exxon, Farmer’s Insurance Group, Fivepoint, Global Medical Response Solution, Grimmway Farms, Irvine Company, KB Homes, Kilroy Realty, LevatoLaw, Majestic Realty, Marathon Petroleum Corp., McKinsey & Company, National CORE, PepsiCo, PhRMA, Sempra Energy, State Farm, Sutter Health, Union Pacific Railroad, United Airlines, UPS, Valero, Western National Group, Wells Fargo, Wellpoint (insurance).
The Tehachapi City Council meets on the first and third Monday of the month at 6 p.m. They are currently meeting at the Police Department Community Room, 220 W. C St.