Measure to discipline California legislators would also lessen supermajority requirement to raise taxes from two-thirds to 55%, and will further damage state\’s fiscal problems.

WASHINGTON – Americans for Tax Reform (ATR), the nation\’s leading taxpayer advocacy organization, today announced its opposition to California \’s Measure 56, which will be voted on with a slew of other initiatives on Tuesday, March 2 nd .

The measure would decrease the supermajority requirement for raising taxes in the Golden State from two-thirds in both houses of the legislature to 55%. The two-thirds requirement is broadly credited with keeping former Gov. Gray Davis (D) from raising taxes over the last two years.

"California\’s politicians have been raising spending beyond sustainable levels for years, and Proposition 56 would lead them to raise taxes to unsustainable levels as well," said taxpayer advocate Grover Norquist, who heads ATR in Washington . "Good governing means controlling spending, while tax hikes is just a way of passing the buck on to taxpayers. Pandering to the big spending lobbies in Sacramento has almost bankrupted the state, and the last thing politicians should do is bankrupt their taxpayers," continued Norquist. Americans for Tax Reform has had thousands of active members in California for the past two decades.

Buried in Prop. 56\’s "budget reform" language is the provision [Section 12(f)(1)] with the furthest reaching consequences: an elimination of the two-thirds legislative vote requirement currently needed before the legislature can raise taxes. The measure would make it easier for the legislature to increase income taxes, sales taxes, property taxes, car taxes, and other state taxes. Proposition 56 pretends to discipline Sacramento politicians, but actually rewards them by making it easier to pass the tax-hiking buck over to taxpayers.

"California voters made history by dumping Gov. Davis for his fiscal recklessness, and electing Arnold Schwarzenegger as a man who could fix their problems," continued Norquist. "Then along comes a measure that would essentially undo the crux of last year\’s election by giving the legislature a blank check to raise the taxes that they couldn\’t during the Davis Administration. Proposition 56 is deceptive, and a clear and present danger to all taxpayers in the Golden State ."