BB&K In the News Jul 26, 2019

One Calif. City’s Tax Test

Partner Kelly Salt Discusses San Francisco’s New Tax Efforts with Bloomberg Tax

One Calif. City’s Tax Test

As the City of San Francisco tests the tax waters following some recent ballot initiatives and court rulings, including the Upland decision, Bloomberg Tax examined whether the City is becoming a trendsetter.
Best Best & Krieger LLP Partner Kelly Salt, in an interview with the publication, said new proposed taxes will require voter approval – a potential hurdle. “…[A]s you well know, the cost of living there is already very high and will become more burdensome as a result of tax measures such as these. Ultimately, it is a matter of how much more of a tax burden voters are willing to tolerate.”
Kelly also discussed the Upland decision’s impact on special tax proposals by initiative. “In light of the multiple lawsuits filed to date, the courts or, ultimately, the California Supreme Court, will have to answer the question of whether the Upland ruling extends to the voter approval threshold for citizen initiatives proposing special taxes,” she said.
Ultimately, California voters may answer this question via an amendment to the state Constitution, Kelly added. Until then, local governments are potential targets for litigation no matter if they collect a special tax approved by majority vote or decline to collect it, she said.

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