California voters in November will vote on a constitutional amendment to ban most shifts of funds from local governments to the state government.
Lawmakers have used such fund shifts to deal with the state’s unbalanced budget. In the most recent budget, they ordered a $2 billion fund shift from local redevelopment agencies.
The state also borrowed almost $2 billion in local property taxes in 2009, a loan that local governments subsequently securitized in the municipal bond market in a deal by the California Statewide Communities Development Authority.
The ballot measure would not only ban such shifts, but also prohibit the state from borrowing or taking gasoline taxes dedicated to transportation and transit; forbid the state from taking, borrowing or redirecting funding for public transit; and prevent it from taking locally levied taxes, such as parcel and sales taxes.
The measure reached the ballot after a signature-gathering campaign driven by lobbyists for local government organizations.
Secretary of State Debra Bowen certified the ballot measure Tuesday.
The initiative needed 694,354 valid petition signatures, and proponents submitted 1,126,889 signatures. It qualified through a random-sample signature check.