Laws, Regulations & Annotations

Property Taxes Law Guide – Revision 2017

California Constitutional Provisions

Article XIII C Voter Approval for Local Tax Levies

Section 3

Sec. 3. Initiative power for local taxes, assessments, fees, and charges. Notwithstanding any other provision of this Constitution, including, but not limited to, Sections 8 and 9 of Article II, the initiative power shall not be prohibited or otherwise limited in matters of reducing or repealing any local tax, assessment, fee or charge. The power of initiative to affect local taxes, assessments, fees and charges shall be applicable to all local governments and neither the Legislature nor any local government charter shall impose a signature requirement higher than that applicable to statewide statutory initiatives.

Construction.—This section applies to assessments, fees, and charges and not just to special and general taxes. Any levy that is ordinarily understood to be a fee or charge under Article XIII D, including all of the property-related fees and charges subject to Article XIII D, are also considered a "fee" or "charge" under this section. Bighorn-Desert View Water Agency v. Verjil, 39 Cal.4th 205.

Commodity charges.—Domestic water delivery through a pipeline is a property-related service within the meaning of Articles XIII D and XIII C, Section 3. Thus, under this section, an initiative may be used to reduce water delivery charges. However, this section does not authorize initiative measures that impose voter-approval requirements for future increases in fees or charges. Bighorn-Desert View Water Agency v. Verjil, 39 Cal.4th 205.