Appeals Court Rejects Challenge to Prop. 13

The 2nd District Court of Appeal has agreed with attorneys representing the Howard Jarvis Taxpayers Association that a lawsuit challenging the constitutionality of Proposition 13 lacks merit.

Since his retirement, former UCLA Chancellor Charles Young has been busy filing lawsuits to try to overturn a critical taxpayer protection contained in Prop. 13: the two-thirds vote required of the Legislature to impose new taxes on Californians.

Young initially filed his case directly in the California Supreme Court, arguing that time was of the essence because California needed more revenue to balance its budget, but Prop. 13 stood as a barrier to new taxes. The Supreme Court rejected this ploy and instructed Young to refile in the Superior Court like everyone else, which he quickly did.

Although Young strategically named as defendants only officers of the Legislature who have no incentive to defend Prop. 13, the Howard Jarvis Taxpayers Association intervened on behalf of California’s taxpayers, and argued to the court that the issue of Prop. 13′s constitutionality was settled law, for in a 1978 court case, Amador Valley Joint Union High School District v. State Board of Equalization, the California Supreme Court rejected outright a legal argument similar to Young’s current claim that Prop. 13 amounted to an unconstitutional revision of California’s form of government, not a mere amendment to the Constitution.

The Superior Court agreed and entered judgment for HJTA. Young filed an appeal. Yesterday, the Court of Appeal affirmed HJTA’s victory.

Now that the Appellate Court has rejected his arguments, we hope that Chancellor Young has gotten the message and will end his attacks on Prop. 13, the backbone of taxpayer rights in the state of California.

(Jon Coupal is the President of the Howard Jarvis Taxpayers Association. Originally posted on Fox & Hounds.)