CA’s next statewide election is on Tuesday, June 5, 2018. Make sure you are educated on the issues your vote will determine. The information behind various propositions may be confusing and overwhelming, so we’ve made the following voter guide to help explain the statewide propositions as well as our recommendations on each of them. If you have any questions, please call our office at 408.986.9874.

Parks, Environment, and Water Bond1

Recommendation: Support

This proposition will authorize necessary funding of projects that aim to repair outdoor areas affected by drought and heavy rains. California’s parks and other public spaces provide recreational destinations for many visitors which improves the health of the state’s economy.

Summary:

Authorizes the state to issue $4 billion in bonds to finance state and local parks, environmental protection and restoration projects, water infrastructure projects, and flood protection projects.

Fiscal Impact2: The total cost of the bond issue would be $6.53 billion. The largest amount of bond revenue-$725 million-would go towards neighborhood parks in park-poor neighborhoods. The measure would also reallocate $100 million in unused bonds from prior environmental projects from previously approved measures, via Proposition 1 (2014), Proposition 84 (2006), and Proposition 40 (2002).

What Your Vote Means:

  • A YES vote would be a vote in favor of authorizing the state to sell $4 billion in general obligation bonds to fund projects for parks, environmental protection, water infrastructure and flood protection.
  • A NO vote would be a vote against the state selling $4 billion in general obligation bonds to fund such environmental projects.

1 California Secretary of State. Official Voter Information Guide Proposition 68, 2018, http://bit.ly/2IZlOKT. Accessed 17 May 2018.
2 “California Proposition 68.” Ballot Pedia, 2018, http://bit.ly/2IK2xh8. Accessed 17 May 2018.

The Transportation Taxes and Fees Lockbox and Appropriations Limit Exemption Amendment – Legislative Constitutional Amendment3

Recommendation: Support

The proposition will offer transparency to California’s taxpayers, ensuring them that the revenues from taxes they pay for transportation are going towards a better transportation system.

Summary4

Requires that the revenue from diesel fuel sales tax and the Transportation Improvement Fee be dedicated for transportation-related purposes only. For instance, it would require the diesel sales tax revenue to be deposited into the Public Transportation Account which is designed to distribute funds for mass transportation and rail systems.

Fiscal Impact: No direct effect on state and local revenues. However, it could impact how some monies are spent. 

What Your Vote Means:

  • A YES vote would be a vote in favor of requiring money raised from the recently enacted diesel fuel tax and the Transportation Improvement Fee to be used for transportation-related purposes.
  • A NO vote would be a vote against requiring these funds to be used for transportation-related purposes. In the future the Legislatures could change current law to spend a portion of the revenues of recently enacted fuel taxes to be used for purposes other than transportation.

3 California Secretary of State. Official Voter Information Guide Proposition 69, 2018, http://bit.ly/2IMc4Af. Accessed 17 May 2018.
4 “California Proposition 69.” Ballot Pedia, 2018, http://bit.ly/2sc6G22. Accessed 17 May 2018.

Vote Requirement to Use Cap-and-Trade Revenue Amendment5

Recommendation: Oppose

According to the opposition, if passed Prop 70 would seize funding that is currently used to fight pollution and improve community health. It would subject this funding to a two-thirds vote in 2024, and by doing so, it would hold these climate investments hostage to the lobbying of corporate interests. Prop 70 would lead to budget gridlock, undermine California’s progress on climate change and clean air, and increase the power of corporate interests.6

Summary – Legislative Constitutional Amendment:

Would require a one-time two-thirds vote in both the Senate and the Assembly before using revenue from the State Air Resources Board’s auctioning or the sale of greenhouse gas emissions allowance. The revenue would go into a Greenhouse Gas Reduction Reserve Fund until both chambers vote in 2024. If it does not get the two-thirds vote, the fund will keep collecting and the state cannot use the funds. The proposition would also suspend a sales tax exemption for manufacturers.7

Fiscal Impact: Potential temporary increase in state sales tax revenues annually.

What Your Vote Means:

  • A YES vote is a vote in favor of requiring at least a two-thirds vote from the Senate and the Assembly before authorizing the state to use revenue from the State Air Resources Board’s auction or the sale of greenhouse gas emissions allowance.
  • A NO vote is a vote opposing the requirement of obtaining a two-thirds vote in 2024, instead the Legislature could continue to authorize spending state revenue collected from the sale of greenhouse gas emission permits with a majority vote. The current state sales tax exemption for manufacturing and certain other equipment would remain in effect until July 1, 2030.

5 California Secretary of State. Official Voter Information Guide Proposition 70, 2018, http://bit.ly/2GOzgfk. Accessed 17 May 2018.
6 “Get the Facts.” Stop Prop 70, 2018, http://bit.ly/2J5mEFD. Accessed 17 May 2018.
7 “California Proposition 70.” Ballot Pedia, 2018, http://bit.ly/2IOl2Nn. Accessed 17 May 2018.

Effective Date of Ballot Measures Amendment – Legislative Constitutional Amendment8

Recommendation: Support

Allowing time to ensure that a ballot proposition has, in fact, been voter approved before enactment would limit confusion and the potential for unlawful discipline. Vote-by-mail votes are increasing in California, and this creates a higher risk of error in counting votes.

Summary:

Would move the effective date of ballot propositions approved by a majority of voters to the fifth day after the Secretary of State certifies election results, rather than the day after the election.9

Fiscal Impact: Likely little to no effect on state and local finances.

What Your Vote Means:

  • A YES vote would be a vote in favor of requiring most state ballot measures to take effect after the statewide vote has been certified.
  • A NO vote would be a vote in favor of continuing to have voter-approved ballot propositions go into effect the day after elections.

8 California Secretary of State. Official Voter Information Guide Prop 71, 2018, http://bit.ly/2LsCmsQ. Accessed 17 May 2018.
9 “California Proposition 71.” Ballot Pedia, 2018, http://bit.ly/2sf19Im. Accessed 17 May 2018.

Rainwater Capture Systems Excluded from Property Tax Assessments Amendment10

Recommendation: Support

The proposition would encourage homeowners to build rainwater capture systems on their homes by preventing adding additional taxes for the construction of those systems. California’s climate is often unpredictable and can be prone to intense drought. These rainwater capture systems will help California conserve water by collecting rainwater during rainy seasons to use later for land irrigation and other uses.

Summary:

Would allow the legislature to exclude rainwater capture systems added to properties after January 1, 2019, from counting as new construction. Any new rainwater capture systems will add no taxable value to the home.11

Fiscal Impact: Likely a minor reduction in annual property tax revenues of local governments.

What Your Vote Means:

  • A YES vote would be a vote in favor of allowing the legislature to exclude rainwater capture systems from new construction. Homeowners who add rainwater capture systems would not be required to pay a higher property tax bill.
  • A NO vote would be a vote in favor of continuing to require the legislature to count rainwater capture systems as new construction. Homeowners installing a system to collect and store rainwater on a property would be required to pay a higher property tax bill.

10 California Secretary of State. Official Voter Information Guide Proposition 72, 2018, http://bit.ly/2J27ill. Accessed 17 May 2018.
11 “California Proposition 72.” Ballot Pedia, 2018, http://bit.ly/2KQ47KW. Accessed 17 May 2018.