South San Francisco, CA June 9, 2017 Submitted by JON COUPAL Howard Jarvis Taxpayers Association Rebroadcast
Today, Democrats on the Senate Governance and Finance Committee blocked Senate Resolution 39 by Senator Mike Morrell (R-Rancho Cucamonga), a measure that would have recognized the historic passage of Proposition 13 and its role in keeping property taxes low for homeowners. The committee’s rejection of this measure comes on the heels of the largest gas and car tax increase in California history and the Senate’s recent passage of a single-payer state-run health care bill estimated to cost $400 billion and that could increase personal tax bills by more than $9,200.
“It has become increasingly clear that Sacramento Democrats do not believe there should be any limits on the amount of money that can be taken from hardworking citizens to pay for growing government,” said Morrell. “Proposition 13 has empowered seniors on fixed incomes to stay in their homes and made homeownership possible for millions of first-time buyers. Senate Resolution 39 would have recognized this fact and shown the people of California that this body is in strong support of the initiative almost four decades after voters passed it.”
Proposition 13 was overwhelmingly approved by California voters in 1978 to lower property taxes. During a time of economic uncertainty, the law ushered in welcome tax stability and certainty. Today, Proposition 13 continues to save individual new homeowners and small businesses thousands of dollars annually in property tax payments. The initiative still remains popular with voters 39 years later.
“As we celebrate the 39th anniversary of Proposition 13, we can be thankful that property owners have saved hundreds of billions of dollars in property taxes,” said David Wolfe of the Howard Jarvis Taxpayers Association in support of Senate Resolution 39. “The stability of Proposition 13’s one percent cap has been imperative to not only keep seniors in their homes and small businesses afloat, but also to allow millennials to overcome high home prices to be able to live out the American Dream.”
“Only in the California legislature would standing up for a law that saves homeowners money and prevents them from being kicked off their property be considered controversial,” continued Morrell. “Today’s vote should be a red flag to taxpayers, as it further reinforces the fact that Democrats want to see Californians pay even more of their well-earned money to the government.”
Senate Resolution 39, supported by the Howard Jarvis Taxpayers Association, failed passage in the Senate Governance and Finance Committee by a final vote of 2-5. Committee members voting in favor of low property taxes were Senators John Moorlach (R-Costa Mesa) and Janet Nguyen (R-Garden Grove). Committee members voting against the resolution were Senators Jim Beall (D-San Jose), Ed Hernandez (D-West Covina), Bob Hertzberg (D-Los Angeles), Ricardo Lara (D-Bell Gardens), and Mike McGuire (D-Healdsburg).
Jon Coupal is the President of the Howard Jarvis Taxpayers Association (HJTA). HJTA, with offices in both Los Angeles and Sacramento, is the largest taxpayers association in California with a membership of over 200,000. Founded by the late Howard Jarvis, the author of Proposition 13, HJTA’s name is synonymous with tax relief and the uncompromising defense of the California homeowner.
From 1991 to 1998, Coupal served as Director of Legal Affairs for HJTA, overseeing the organization’s litigation and lobbying efforts. He is a recognized expert in California fiscal affairs and has argued numerous tax cases before the courts. Coupal also successfully defended Proposition 140, the state’s term limit initiative, before the California Supreme Court. In 1995, he won a major ruling before the Supreme Court when it upheld the validity of Proposition 62, an HJTA sponsored initiative guaranteeing the right to vote on local taxes. He is also the principal drafter of Proposition 218, the Right to Vote on Taxes Act, a measure passed by the voters in November 1996. He has served as chairman of several initiative campaigns representing the interests of taxpayers including his most recent battle against Proposition 88, the statewide parcel tax initiative, defeated by the voters in November of 2006. Coupal is also Chairman of the Howard Jarvis Taxpayer Foundation which provides funding for taxpayer rights litigation and educational studies.
Coupal is a graduate of the Marshall-Wythe School of Law at the College of William and Mary, where he received his J.D. degree in 1982. After law school, he was an attorney with Pacific Legal Foundation for nine years, specializing in tax issues and political law. He resides in Sacramento, California with his wife Catherine, daughter Elena and son Adam.
View more of Jon’s writing in California Commentary.