SAN FRANCISCO (KCBS) – The California Supreme Court on Monday made it easier for certain new taxes to win approval with voters.

While the court decided that cities and counties will still have to get a two-thirds majority vote in order to raise taxes, measures proposed by citizens do not need a supermajority to pass.

“Citizen groups collect the necessary number of signatures to put the measure on the ballot, no longer will those measures require a two-thirds vote. They only require a simple majority,” said Larry Gerton, professor emeritus of political science at San Jose State University.

This applies to taxes for specific purposes, such as building a sports arena or a soda tax. However, if a city like San Francisco tries to get a soda tax approved, it will still be subject to the two-thirds bar.

This is why we’re likely to see more citizen groups proposing taxes, because they’ll only need a majority now.

“To tax proponents, perhaps the flood gates are opened a little bit more, and that no doubt will be upsetting to tax opponents,” Gerston said.


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