Arena Tax May Be Challenged

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(Sacramento, CA)
Thursday, July 13, 2006

One scenario is a measure on the November ballot calling for a quarter-cent sales tax increase. But a taxpayer’s group says such a measure could be against the law. 

When California voters approved Proposition 218 – the Right to Vote on Taxes Act – in the mid 90s, it established a new law: that any special tax must be approved by a two-thirds vote, not just a simple majority. Jon Coupal with the Howard Jarvis Taxpayer’s Association says if an arena plan ends up on the ballot, it’ll have to comply. 

"If this is truly an arena tax, it would need a two-thirds vote. We do not see how they can construct a tax for the specific purpose of building an arena with a simple majority vote." 

Coupal say any violation of Prop 218 would be challenged in the courts. Meantime, legal representatives for Sacramento County say it’s still too early to comment on what residents may or may not be voting on in November.