Voters Have Had Enough of Hidden Taxes in Ballot Measures

Over the past few years, local governments have consistently increased the number of ballot measures for voters. The ballot measures, though, have simply equated to hidden tax increases.

Masquerading behind the promise to use the money for desired services, elected officials have actually used the tax increases to fund employee pensions and health care. The local governments intend to increase the number of ballot measures for the upcoming election. Yet, within this last month, California voters have expressed their frustration and disapproval for the increase of measures.

After years of constantly being required to give up more of their hard-earned money, Los Angeles citizens finally took a stand. In the early months of this year, Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti implored citizens to hand over their money, via another tax increase known as Measure EE, to “benefit” the Los Angeles Unified School District.

The measure planned to generate $500 million a year from mainly commercial property. Yet, the measure completely failed since it could not receive a simple majority from voters. Ultimately, voters were simply tired of the political tricks and games—such as removing the true use of their money—being used against them on the ballots.

However, the political tricks and games are not unique to Los Angeles. Based on a recent study done by Policy Analysis for California Education (PACE), voters in progressive Marin County have showed their aversion to more tax increases. Regardless of the fact that Marin school districts actually need money for similar costs, voters were still not on board with the tax increases. Moreover, in Marin County, voters have formed coalitions to combat the tax increases and to advocate for fiscal reforms.

While the increase in ballot measures has already hit Los Angeles and Marin County, San Diego will unsurprisingly be the next target. In order to combat any further tax increases in San Diego, voters will have to employ similar methods from the other California counties and vote against the increasing number of tax measures.


Photo by GotCredit via Flickr