The California Supreme Court has refused to hear a challenge to significant aspects of Proposition 13, prosecuted by former UCLA Chancellor Charles Young.
Earlier this year, the 2nd District Court of Appeal agreed with attorneys representing the Howard Jarvis Taxpayers Association that Young’s suit challenging the constitutionality of Proposition 13 lacks merit.
Since his retirement, Young has been busy filing lawsuits to try to overturn a critical taxpayer protection contained in Prop. 13: the two-thirds vote required of the Legislature to impose new taxes on Californians.
Young initially filed his case directly in the California Supreme Court, arguing that time was of the essence because California needed more revenue to balance its budget, but Prop. 13 stood as a barrier to new taxes. The Supreme Court rejected this ploy and instructed Young to re-file in the Superior Court just as everyone else, which he quickly did.
Although Young strategically named as defendants only officers of the Legislature who have no incentive to defend Proposition 13, the Howard Jarvis Taxpayers Association intervened on behalf of California’s taxpayers and argued to the court that the issue of Prop. 13’s constitutionality was settled law, for in a 1978 court case – Amador Valley Joint Union High School District v. State Board of Equalization – the California Supreme Court rejected outright a legal argument similar to Young’s current claim that Prop. 13 amounted to an unconstitutional revision of California’s form of government, not a mere amendment to the Constitution.
When the Superior Court agreed and entered judgment for HJTA, Young filed an appeal. After the Court of Appeal affirmed HJTA’s victory, Young returned to where he started, the Supreme Court, and he has again been rejected.
Now the process has gone full circle and all the courts agree that Proposition 13 remains in full force and in effect. Proposition 13 remains the backbone of taxpayer rights in the state of California, which is why those who can never seem to get enough taxpayers dollars, will continue to attack it.