Eversheds Sutherland has filed an amicus curiae brief on behalf of the 550 members of the Council On State Taxation (COST) on the important issue of whether imposition of certain local special taxes in California requires a two-thirds vote by the California electorate, or a simple majority. City of Fresno v. Fresno Building Healthy Communities. After the City of Fresno concluded that Measure P did not pass because it was a “special tax” that did not receive the required two-thirds vote, the nonprofit Fresno Building Healthy Communities filed suit, arguing that Measure P only required a majority vote because it was a citizen initiative. The trial court disagreed and concluded in favor of the City, holding that it would be “erroneous to conclude that the two-thirds requirement” only applied to “local government.” The amicus brief urges the Court to affirm the well-reasoned decision of the trial court and adopt the arguments of the respondents that both Proposition 13 and Proposition 218 require passage by a two-thirds vote and that nothing in the California Supreme Court’s decision in California Cannabis Coalition v. City of Upland (2017) 3 Cal.5th 924 alters that result.
For more information on California supermajority voting requirement tax cases, check out Eversheds Sutherland’s SALT Scoreboard – CA Local Tax Edition.