SACRAMENTO, CA – Earlier this month, Attorney General Xavier Becerra released the title and summary for the $12.5 billion a year split-roll property tax measure and sparked outrage with reporters, columnists and editorial boards across the state. The title and summary, which is supposed to be a nonpartisan, impartial analysis for voters, was written to give the proponents an unfair advantage at passing the largest tax increase in California history. Proponents of the $12.5 billion property tax hike are now collecting signatures to qualify the measure for the November 3, 2020, ballot.
Read what reporters, columnists and editorial boards across California have to say about Attorney General Becerra’s biased title and summary for the split-roll property tax measure below:
“Becerra should be ashamed — and his office should be stripped of ballot summary duties in perpetuity. But first someone should sue over this new abuse of power,” said the San Diego Union-Tribune editorial board.
“It’s the most disreputable ballot description we’ve seen,” the Southern California News Group editorial board said. “When AGs such as Becerra betray public trust this way, they erode faith in our democracy as people realize those in charge rig the rules to help their friends. It really is shameful.”
“It’s past time to take this duty away from the attorney general, Republican or Democratic, regardless of one’s view of the nobility of any particular cause. Voters deserve to have an objective assessment of the issue before them… Becerra is the latest to show that he can’t be trusted with that solemn obligation to voter education,” John Diaz, editorial page writer for the San Francisco Chronicle said. “Voters should not accept these insults to their intelligence and independence.”
“Obviously, Becerra and other attorneys general past, present and future shouldn’t be taking political sides on ballot measures. Obviously, too, they will continue doing so unless the process is changed,” Dan Walters, columnist at CALmatters emphasized.
“It’s become a dishonorable California tradition: state attorneys general draft titles and summaries for ballot initiatives that don’t pass the laugh test. Our current A.G., Xavier Becerra, is getting justified criticism for his summary of the split roll initiative,” Joe Mathews, columnist and editor at Zócalo Public Square stated.
“…I have argued that the title and summary power should be taken from the partisan elected attorney general and turned over to the non-partisan Legislative Analyst’s Office in an effort to squeeze some of the politics out of the process,” Joel Fox, editor and co-publisher of Fox and Hounds Daily said. “Now I have a fresh case study of why that is a good idea as well as an example of real world politics to affect policy, not the way students read about policy procedures in textbooks.”
Californians to Stop Higher Property Taxes, a coalition of businesses, taxpayers, homeowners and renters, has been fighting to protect Proposition 13 and oppose a split roll for more than a decade. For more information, please visit www.StopHigherPropertyTaxes.org.