What made an initiative measure seemingly on its way to the ballot suddenly disappear?

The Making Poverty History campaign pulled the plug on its property tax increase measure that would have dedicated funds to numerous anti-poverty programs. Despite raising well over a million dollars and having hundreds of thousands of signatures in hand to qualify the measure for November’s ballot, proponents said it was time to call it quits.


The reason issued by proponents in a press release was that the ballot was already too crowded with tax measures.

An odd statement since no tax measure has gathered the necessary signatures to qualify, yet.

In fact, the signature drives for the Proposition 30 income tax extension and the cigarette tax increase started months after the property tax measure was released for signature gathering.

So, we’re just left to conjecture.

The governor made it known he doesn’t want a long ballot to help focus attention on measures he is concerned about.

The teachers unions and the education-complex desperately want to extend the Proposition 30 taxes for a dozen years. They were concerned too many taxes on the ballot would hurt their chances.

Perhaps the governor and unions helped the anti-poverty proponents make the decision not to move ahead. We may never know.

However, one thing is fairly certain, efforts to increase property taxes by way of a ballot initiative will be back someday.