Voter’s Edge California
Get the facts before you vote.
Brought to you by
MapLight
League of Women Voters of California Education Fund
June 7, 2016 — California Primary Election
We depend on your support.
Share your knowledge

Text VOTE to 52000 to donate $10.

Do you feel better informed having used Voter's Edge?

Help us inform other voters.

Local

City of San Diego
Proposition C Charter Amendment - Majority Approval Required

To learn more about measures, follow the links for each tab in this section. For most screenreaders, you can hit Return or Enter to enter a tab and read the content within.

Election Results

Passing

184,271 votes yes (67.32%)

89,450 votes no (32.68%)

Shall the City Charter be amended to clarify the manner in which the City levies, assesses and collects property taxes in the City, and to repeal provisions regarding property taxes the City is not able to levy as a result of Proposition 13 and related state law?

What is this proposal?

Measure Details — Official information about this measure

Summary

City of San Diego

This proposition would amend the San Diego Charter to revise the processes by which the City levies, assesses and collects property taxes and to repeal taxes that the City can no longer levy under the California Constitution. 

Impartial analysis / Proposal

San Diego City Attorney

Prior to the adoption of Proposition 13 by California voters in 1978, the City Council was entitled and obligated to set a property tax rate sufficient to raise the funds necessary to pay for the spending approved in the City’s annual budget. Proposition 13 amended the California Constitution to limit the rate at which all real property in California could be assessed. Proposition 13 and subsequent state legislation also limited the ability of cities to impose taxes authorized prior to Proposition 13 but not levied and collected in specific years after Proposition 13.

This proposition does not authorize any new taxes. If approved, this proposition would amend the San Diego Charter by consolidating several Charter sections dealing with the assessment, levy and collection of taxes into two sections of the Charter.

The City continues to be able to levy lawfully imposed ad valorem (based upon value) property taxes, but is not able to set the general rate of taxation because this authority has been superseded by state law.

The City is permitted to use San Diego County’s system for the assessment and collection of property taxes, but is not required to do so. The City’s Chief Financial Officer is authorized to set the legally allowed tax levy in the event that the City Council fails to act in a timely manner to set the tax levy. If approved, the proposition would amend the Charter to remove the limit on the tax levy, as this has been superseded by state law.

The City previously was authorized to levy specific property taxes to fund City pensions, but the City did not do so after Proposition 13 was implemented and is no longer permitted to do so. If approved, the proposition would repeal the language authorizing this tax.

The proposition also would repeal language that allowed a tax to fund public transportation, as the City is no longer legally permitted to levy the tax. The City continues to be able to impose special taxes with a two-thirds vote of the public, in accordance with the California Constitution.

The City Council’s Charter Review Committee approved sending this measure to the ballot, and the City Council voted to place the measure on the ballot. If approved, the Charter amendments would become effective after they are chaptered by the California Secretary of State.

Financial effect

City of San Diego

This measure would repeal or replace outdated sections of the City Charter pertaining to property taxes. The updates are intended to simplify the manner in which the City levies, assesses, and collects property taxes in the City. The measure would also repeal sections related to property taxes that the City is not able to levy as a result of Proposition 13 and related State law.

There is no fiscal impact associated with these Charter amendments.

Published Arguments — Arguments for and against the ballot measure

Arguments FOR

The Charter, the Constitution for the City of San Diego, was first written 85 years ago, and has not undergone a thorough review or update since then. Some Charter articles and many sections are simply unnecessary, outdated, confusing, or worse, contain misinformation. The Charter needs to be updated to reflect how the City operates in the 21st Century and to be more open, transparent, and easy for citizens to read.

The Charter Review Committee worked with the City’s Chief Financial Officer, the Independent Budget Analyst, the City Attorney and the Mayor’s office to develop these proposed Charter changes to streamline and update the language on taxation authority.

These recommended Charter changes regarding the City’s authority to levy taxes will:

  • Clarify that the City only levies property taxes that are legally authorized by the state.
  • Repeal section 76 – Limit of Tax Levy, because it is superseded by Prop 13.
  • Renumber section 76.1 – Special Taxes as section 76.
  • Place in section 75 the description that the City uses the County system to collect any legally authorized taxes.

Your “yes” vote on Prop C will update the City’s taxation authority to read in plain language, accurately reflect current practices, move appropriate provisions to the Municipal Code, and repeal language that is outdated or superseded by state or federal law.

Prop C has strong support from the City Council, League of Women Voters of San Diego, and the San Diego Regional Chamber of Commerce.

Sherri Lightner,
City Council President

Chris Cate,
City Councilmember

Jerry Sanders,
President & CEO,
San Diego Regional Chamber of Commerce

Jeanne Brown,
President,
League of Women Voters of San Diego

— City of San Diego

Arguments AGAINST

No argument against Proposition C was filed in the office of the City Clerk.

— City of San Diego

More information

Use tabs to select your choice. Use return to create a choice. You can access your choices by navigating to 'My Choices'.

Please share this site to help others research their voting choices.

PUBLISHING:PRODUCTION SERVER:PRODUCTION