Will Governor Brown put his signature behind Hertzberg’s SB231?

Protect your voting rights now and contact Governor Brown’s office to request that he vetoes SB 231.

On Thursday, Aug. 31 2017, prior to Labor Day weekend, CA State Senator Bob Hertzberg received the dubious victory of watching his property tax legislation, SB 231, narrowly squeak through the State Assembly by one vote.

It’s been a long road for SB 231. This was Hertzberg’s second attempt doggedly pushing his bill through Sacramento. He had submitted it last year under a different name, and it failed to pass due to concerns from both sides of the political aisle. There is still plenty of skepticism today regarding the legalities of SB 231.

Will Governor Brown approve SB 231?

This past Friday, Governor Brown signed many bills into law, but SB 231 was noticeably omitted, although two of Hertzberg’s other pieces of legislation were approved. It’s possible the troubled bill may not be authorized due to the fact it removes citizen’s voting rights that are guaranteed under Prop 218. If the governor signs this law into effect it could open the State to class action suits on behalf of residents.

Protect your voting rights now and contact Governor Brown’s office to request that he does not approve SB 231.

Email via the web pagehttps://govapps.gov.ca.gov/gov39mail
via Phone: (916) 445-2841
or Fax: (916) 558-3160

The consequences of SB 231:

Prior to Sen. Hertzberg writing his legislation, polling showed that residents would not approve of this tax increase. Realizing the futility of placing it on the ballot, Sen. Hertzberg designed legislation which would circumvent the voter requirements and grant local governments the right to levy this property assessment directly.

Why is there an attempt to raise property taxes right now?

SB 231 was designed to allow local cities, and the County of Los Angeles, to tax property owners for a new stormwater assessment. There is a $20 billion stormwater infrastructure mandate in the works, dubbed the “MS4” Permit, and it requires funding. SB 231 would remove homeowner’s rights to vote on this tax and it could be applied to property bills without cap limits.

There were many legislators opposed to this sleight of hand, and thanks are owed to our Glendora representatives, Assemblywoman Blanca Rubio, State Senator Anthony Portantino, The California Association of Realtors, the Howard Jarvis Taxpayers Association, and many others who took a stance of principled opposition on behalf of voter rights.

Background on the MS4 Stormwater Permit:

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Don’t water down our right to vote on taxes

The Southern California News Group (SCNG) recently published my article about upcoming legislation SB 231 which aims to limit LA County resident’s right to vote on property tax increases.  To learn more, you can read my OpEd below:

Don’t water down our right to vote on taxes

by Judy Nelson

Los Angeles County residents should be aware of stormwater regulations that could dramatically increase our property tax bills. Proposed legislation in Sacramento known as SB231, sponsored by Democratic state Sen. Robert Hertzberg of the San Fernando Valley, would allow stormwater-control costs to be added to property assessments without a direct vote of the people.

In 2012, the Los Angeles Regional Water Quality Control Board adopted groundbreaking stormwater-management regulations affecting all cities in the region. Our county is the test site for the rest of the state and the country.

The mandate, called an MS4 permit, requires that cities capture 85 percent of the water from the first 24 hours of a storm. All water that flows out of the city via storm drains must first be monitored and treated for over 30 pollutants.

Those of us in government for local cities support the ideal of conserving water and preventing pollution from reaching the ocean. But the costs of implementing the systems are daunting, as this is a mandate without a funding source.

The big question for cities is “Where will the $20 billion to pay for the stormwater regulations come from?”

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