California Cannabis Coalition v. City of Upland

The California Constitution does not restrict the voters’ ability to impose or increase taxes by initiative measures, even though some restrictions do apply to local governments seeking to do the same.  Cal. Const. Art. XIII C, enacted by Prop. 218 in 1996, restricts the ability of local governments to impose, extend, or increase any general tax.  This decision holds that the provision does not restrict the voters’ ability to impose or increase taxes by initiative measures.  While the voters could restrict by initiative their own power to enact future types of legislation by initiative, that sort of measure would be unusual.  The Court will not find that the voters intended to limit their own powers unless the initiative they enact clearly expresses that intention.  Prop. 218 contained no such expression of voter intent.

California Supreme Court (Cuellar, J.; Kruger & Liu, JJ., concurring in part & dissenting in part); August 28, 2017; 2017 WL 3706533

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