Prop. 62 May Not Apply in Charter

* Jean Askham in her letter of March 3 hasn't quite told the whole story about the anticharter argument. The sample ballot argument against the charter refers to "our current protections provided by Proposition 13 and Proposition 62, which require approval of new taxes by voters."

True it is, as Askham said, that charter counties must obey Proposition 13, because it is indeed in the state constitution. But Askham conveniently did not mention that Proposition 62 is not in the constitution, but rather only in the Government Code. Because it is in the "codes," it is "general law," and charter law counties and cities may well be exempt from Proposition 62. That means charter cities and counties could pass taxes without a vote of the people.

Askham said that the question of whether Proposition 62 applies to charter counties and cities "was thoroughly researched by the legislative counsel of California in December." But what Askham did not reveal was that the legislative counsel's opinion did not refer to the recent California Supreme Court case, Santa Clara County Local Transportation Authority vs. Guardino. This case was not published in time for the legislative counsel to use it.

In the Santa Clara case, the California Supreme Court explicitly stated that it was quite possible that charter governments were exempt from Proposition 62.

By the way, last year Askham publicly debated in favor of the Measure R sales tax.

We suggest that the Orange County voters do with Measure T what Boston's people did with tea in 1773: Dump it.





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