Support effort to protect city’s funds

While we have never been a strong advocate of government by initiatives, a petition effort launched last week in San Diego is deserving of voter support.

Over the last few years, our legislators in Sacramento have repeatedly demonstrated they are incapable of putting partisan politics aside to balance the state budget. Year after year, they come up with kick-the-can-down-the-road budget “solutions” that call for the “borrowing” or outright stealing of revenues that rightly should go to cities and counties for everything from police and fire protection and road repairs to redevelopment projects.

Last week in San Diego, San Diego Mayor Jerry Sanders joined a number of local government, transportation, business, public safety and public transit leaders to kick off a statewide signature-gathering campaign to qualify the Local Taxpayer, Public Safety and Transportation Protection Act of 2010 for the November 2010 ballot.

The measure closes loopholes to prevent the state from taking, diverting or borrowing local government, transportation, and public transit funds. Specifically, it:

  • Prohibits the state from borrowing local government property tax funds which are vital for public safety and other local services.
  • Prohibits the state from borrowing or taking gasoline taxes which are dedicated to transportation and transit improvements and services, including the state sales tax on gasoline (Proposition 42 funds), and the Highway Users Tax Account on gasoline (HUTA).
  • Prevents the taking of locally levied taxes, including parcel taxes, sales taxes, and other locally imposed taxes that are currently dedicated to cities, counties and special districts.
  • Adds additional constitutional protections to prevent the state from raiding redevelopment funds or shifting redevelopment funds to other state purposes.

Californians to Protect Local Taxpayers and Vital Services, the coalition sponsoring the ballot measure, will collect more than 1.1 million signatures to ensure it meets the required 694,354 valid signatures needed to qualify a constitutional amendment for the statewide ballot.
Every signature will count. To obtain a petition or more information on the measure, visit