Ballot Measure to Block New Taxes Qualifies for the November 2024 Ballot

Natalie Donlin-Zappella, Principal/Legislative Director

A ballot measure that would increase the voter threshold on some taxes and fees has qualified for the November 2024 ballot. Backed by the California Business Roundtable, Kilroy Realty, and the Howard Jarvis Taxpayers Association, among others, the measure – The Taxpayer Protection and Government Accountability Act – would require that all new taxes passed by State leaders appear on the California ballot for voter approval. At the local level, any special tax would need to be approved by two-thirds of the voters. Currently, these taxes can be approved by 50% +1 of the voting public.

As written, the ballot measure would impact any taxes, fees, and charges approved after January 1, 2022, that did not receive at least 2/3rds of the vote. While not specifically called out, it appears that the sponsors are intentionally targeting Los Angeles’ Measure ULA, which was approved by City voters in November of 2022 and provides funding for affordable housing and homeless programs by charging a 4% transfer tax on commercial and residential sales of over $5 million and a 5.5% tax on sales of over $10 million. Measure ULA passed with 57% of the vote and is expected to raise between $600 million and $1.1 billion annually.

The measure’s sponsors say that the ballot measure, if passed, would not impact any revenues collected between January 1, 2022, and November 2024. It would, however, impact revenue collected after that date.