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On September 9, 2020, the California Supreme Court denied review of the opinion of the First District Court of Appeal in City and County of San Francisco v. All Persons Interested in the Matter of Proposition C, which held a voter-initiated local special tax may pass with only a simple majority. With appeals currently pending in the First and Fifth Districts, California taxpayers and governments alike continue to seek guidance from the courts as to whether a special tax imposed by initiative requires only a simple majority, and not a two-thirds, vote to pass. If the Fifth District affirms the lower court in the Fresno Measure P matter and agrees that a special tax must receive the required two-thirds vote, it will result in a split among the districts and likely force the California Supreme Court’s hand to clarify its prior decision in in California Cannabis Coalition v. City of Upland (2017) 3 Cal.5th 924.
For more information on California supermajority voting requirement tax cases, check out Eversheds Sutherland’s SALT Scoreboard – CA Local Tax Edition.