No, this is not de ja vu. During CSDA’s recent Annual Conference and Exhibitor Showcase, the CSDA Board of Directors voted to support a new coalition that would provide iron-clad protections for local government revenues from the state’s taking, including property tax revenues.

While Proposition 1A was passed by a vast majority of California voters to provide some protections to local governments’ property tax revenues, legislators still borrowed approximately $2 billion to bridge a massive budget deficit, without a clear path of repayment. In addition, they took over $2 billion from redevelopment agencies despite a court decision that doing so is unconstitutional, and acted to take more than $1 billion of the local government share of the Highway User Tax Account in order to repay state bond debt.

This new initiative—slated to be on the November 2010 ballot—would close loopholes to prevent the taking of local taxpayer funds, including parcel taxes, sales taxes, and other locally imposed taxes that are currently dedicated to special districts, cities, and counties.

Additionally, it would revoke the state’s authority to borrow local government property tax funds (as currently allowed under Prop 1A) and to divert or borrow local redevelopment funds. It would also add strong protections on transit and transportation funding.

CSDA is joining the coalition with our local government partners—the League of California Cities and the California State Association of Counties—as well as the California Alliance for Jobs and the California Transit Association. CSDA will update members with more information once it becomes available.