The Upland Ripple Effect: A California Supermajority Tax Showdown

Despite the narrow issue it originally addressed, the August 2017 decision by the California Supreme Court in California Cannabis Coal. v. City of Upland has sparked a much larger debate regarding whether local special taxes introduced by voter initiative are subject to the long-standing requirement in the California Constitution that local special taxes must be passed with a two-thirds supermajority vote by the electorate

In “The Sequel to Upland: A Calif. Supermajority Tax Showdown,” an article that originally appeared in Law360 Robert P. Merten III and Richard E. Nielsen recap the pertinent Upland background, identify the local special taxes currently at issue and discuss an important consideration courts will need to address when deciding these cases: the over 40-year history of California’s two-thirds supermajority voting requirement for the passage of local special taxes.