In a controversial move, the California Supreme Court decided on Monday to pass a law that lowers the threshold of voter-approved tax initiatives from two-thirds to a majority approval. That means tax increases could become a lot easier to pass if they’re proposed by citizens groups, rather than local government agencies. However, if proposed by government agencies or if the citizen initiative is brought forth through a signature-gathering process, the 2/3rds threshold still stands. As stated by the decision, “Taxation imposed by initiative is not taxation imposed by local government.”
In Kern County, this could potentially mean that certain amenities like the local hospital will be able to pass a tax increase that will allow its doors to remain open. However, this new measure also decreases the needed voter count from 66.7% for to anything above 50% for, meaning that the power of the majority position would become almost non-existent. For more information on the potential benefits and pitfalls of this new move, look to Bakersfield.com.