Bill Would Add Exemptions to Tax Proposition

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A change to a California tax proposition could make it easier for special tourism and business districts to generate revenue. But critics say the change would undermine taxpayer protections.

Proposition 26 is supposed to protect Californians from being charged fees in lieu of hard-to-pass tax increases. But Democratic Assemblyman Phil Ting said the measure has impeded the operation of special business districts around the state.

Tourism marketing and business improvement districts collect fees from businesses within their boundaries and use the revenue to benefit the district. Ting’s bill would ease restrictions on these districts, which he said provide valuable services.

 “Streetscapes, cleaning, painting, security. Often times vital city services that need to be augmented because the cities and counties don’t have enough revenue to provide adequate services,” Ting said.  

But the districts have been criticized for passing fees on to the public. And taxpayer groups say the bill would undermine the protections Prop 26 was meant to provide.



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