Americans for Tax Reform applauds California voters for rejecting propositions A1-E in yesterday’s special election. The lynchpin measure on the ballot, Proposition 1A, which would have extended $16 billion in tax hikes, was soundly defeated. With 100 percent of precincts reporting, over 65 percent of California voters rejected 1A and the $1,100 in new taxes per household that it would have assessed. 

Not one of Propositions 1A-E received more than 38 percent of the vote. The only measure to pass, Proposition 1F, was approved with over 74 percent of the vote. Proposition 1F prevents pay increases for legislators when the budget is not in balance. With the failure of Props 1A-E, lawmakers must now go back to work and address a $21.3 billion deficit.

“California does not have a $21.3 billion deficit; it has a $21.3 billion overspending problem. The voters of California have sent an unequivocal message to the politicians in Sacramento – the budget process is broken and taxpayers have been squeezed dry.” said Grover Norquist, president of Americans for Tax Reform. “Despite a well funded campaign for billions of dollars in new taxes, in one of the highest taxed states in the nation, voters saw through the misinformation spread by proponents of Prop 1A.”

California spending has nearly tripled since the early 1990’s, while revenues have increase 167%.  If California had limited its spending to population growth and inflation since 1991, the state would be sitting on a $15 billion surplus. California lawmakers will hold a series of press events today to announce their various proposals on how to move forward with the budget. 

“The fiscal mess that California has become provides a preview of what will happen nationwide if the tax and spend policies of Obama, Reid, and Pelosi are carried out” added Norquist. “It is time to address the true problem in California: gross overspending. Now more than ever the Golden State must begin to live within its means and make the tax climate more competitive. In yesterday’s special election voters sent a loud and clear message to politicians in Sacramento that business as usual can’t continue.”