Copyright
California Legislative Counsel Bureau California. Secretary of State.

Amendments to the Constitution and proposed statutes : with arguments ... online

. (page 3 of 36)
Online LibraryCalifornia Legislative Counsel Bureau California. Secretary of StateAmendments to the Constitution and proposed statutes : with arguments ... → online text (page 3 of 36)
Font size
QR-code for this ebook


pay Its existing indebtedness incurred in the con-
struction of its waterworks whenever two thirds
of the electors thereof voting at an election held|
for that purpose shall so decide, and that no,
statute of limitations shall apply in any manner.
Any indebtedliess or liability Incurred contrary
to this provision, with the exceptions herelnbe-i
fore recited, shall be void. i

The city and county of San Francisco, the city
of San Jose and the town of Santa Clara inay|
make provision for a sinking fund, to pay the
principal of any indebtedness Incurred, or to be I
hereafter Incurred, by it, to commence at a time '
after the Incurring of such Indebtedness of not
more than a period of one fourth of the time of
maturity of such Indebtedness, which shall not
exceed seventy-five years from the time of con-
tracting the same. Any indebtedness incurred
contrary to any provision of this section shall be
void.



ARGUMENTS IN FAVOR OF SENATE CON-
STITUTIONAL AMENDMENT NO. 34.

The new portion of this amendment is that
part of it which refers to Alameda county, and
is designed to allow Alameda county, and that
county only, to call an election within that^
county, and submit to Its voters the question
whether Alameda county should levy a tax, not
to exceed one million dollars, and Invest the
funds so derived in the Panama-Pacific Interna-
tional Exposition.

This is In accordance with the pledges made by
prominent Alameda county citizens that that
county would contribute towards financing the
exposition. It was later found that the consti-
tution did not contain any provision which would
enable any county to raise money by taxation
for such purposes.

This constitutional amendment would so change
the constitution that Alameda coimty can, if two
thirds of its voters vote in favor of such a tax,
levy a tax upon itself for this specific purpose.

It applies to no other county. It requiring a
two-thirds vote to levy the tax, everybody Is
safegruarded. The amendment should be adopted.

Geo. J. Hans,
State Senator Fourteenth District.



This proposed amendment Is an amendment to
section 18, article XI, of the Constitution of the
State of California, and affects no other section
of the state than Alameda county. It Is in the
nature of an enabling act by which Alameda ;
county may incur a bonded Indebtedness, not to '
exceed one million dollars, for the purchase of i
stock in the Panama-Pacific International Ex- |
position Company. The amendment should be
adopted by the people of the state for the reason
that it will enable the voters of Alameda county
to pass upon the question of Investment in the
exposition.

In view of the fact that the operation of the
amendment would be confined entirely to Ala-
meda county. It Is clear that the voters of the
state at large should permit this county to have
the power to vote upon the question of bonding. |
Edward J. Tyrrell,
^te Senator Sixteenth District.



PUBLIC UTILITIES IN MUNICIPALITIES.

Senate Constitutional Amendment 53 amending section 19 of article XI of constitution.
Authorizes any municipal corporation to acquire and operate public utilities ; to grant franchises
to operate same under regulations prescribed by its organic law or otherwise by law; but elim-
inates from present section provisions authorizing municipal goyemment to regulate charges for
services under such franchises; and authorizes municipal corporation to furnish the product or
service of public utility operated by it to users beyond its limits, to other municipalities, and to
inhabitants thereof without consent of such municipalities.

Senate Constitutional Amendment No. 53 — ^A hy original construction or by the purchase of
resolution proposing to the people of the State existing works, including their franchises, or



of California an amendment to section nine-
teen of article XI of the Constitution of the
State of California, relating to the operation
of public utilities by municipal corporations.
The legislature of the State of California; at
Its regrular session commencing on the sixth day
of January, 1913, two thirds of the members
elected to each of the two houses of said legisla-
ture voting in favor thereof, hereby proposes that
section 19 of article XI of the Constitution of the
State of California be amended to read as
follows :

PROPOSED LAW.

Section 19. Any municipal corporation shall
have power to acquire by purchase, lease, con-
demnation or otherwise, In whole or in part, or
to construct, and to own, maintain, equip and
operate public utilities; and to grant franchises
to persons, firms or private corporations to es-
tablish, equip, maintain and operate public utili-
ties, upon such conditions and under such regu-
lations as may be prescribed under the organic
law of such municipality or otherwise by law.
Any municipal corporation may furnish the pro-
duct or service of any public utility conducted
or operated by it to other municipal corporations
and the inhabitants thereof, and to consumers
and users outside of its limits.

Section 19. article XI, proposed to be amend-
ed, now reads as follows:

EXISTING LAW.

Section 19. Any municipal corporation may
establish and operate public works for supplying
its inhabitants with light, water, power, heat,
transportation, telephone service or other means
of communication. Such works may be acquired



both. Persons or corporations may establish and
operate works for supplying the inhabitants with
such services upon such conditions and under
such regulations as tJie municipality may pre-
scribe under its organic law, on condition that
the municipal government shall have the right to
regulate the charges thereof. A municipal cor-
poration may furnish such services to inhabitants
outside its boundaries; provided, that it shall not
furnish any service to the inhabitants of any
other municipality owning or operating works
supplying the same service to such inhabitants,
without the consent of such other municipality,
expressed by ordinance.



ARGUMENT IN FAVOR OF SENATE CONSTI-
TUTIONAL AMENDMENT NO. 63.

This amendment to article XI of the state con-
stitution simply enlarges the powers of munici-
pal corporations respecting their ownership of
public utilities. This amendment extends their
powers, permitting them to acquire any public
utility or service instead of limiting the right to
acquire a few specified kinds of service. Under
the proposed amendment, municipalities can ac-
quire, by original construction, purchase, lease
or condemnation, works or plants supplying
water, gas, electricity, heat, illumination, power,
refrigeration, with transportation, telephone
service, or any other public utility.

The old section was too limited in its powers,
and therefore should be broadened, which the
proposed amendment contemplates.



A. H. Breed,
State Senator Fifteenth District



TAXATION OF PUBLIC PROPERTY.

Assembly Constitutional Annendnnent 6 amending section 1 of article XI 1 1 of constitution.

Present section unchanged but proviso added declaring taxable all lands and improvements thereon
owned beyond its limits by a county or municipal corporation, if taxable at the time acquired by
it; exempting improvements constructed by such owner upon any of its lands; and declaring all
such taxable property assessable by assessor of county or municipal corporation where situated, sub-
ject to review and adjustment by state board of equalization.

Assembly Constitutional Amendment No. 6, a
resolution to propose to the people of the State
of California an amendment of the constitu-
tion of the state by amending section one of
article thirteen thereof relating to revenue
and taxation.
The legislature of the State of California at its



fortieth regular session, commencing on the
sixth day of January, nineteen hundred thirteen,
two thirds of all the members elected to each of
the houses of said legislature voting in favor
thereof, hereby proposes to the qualified electors
of the State of California that section one of
article thirteen of the Constitution of the State
of California be amended to read as follows :

PROPOSED LAW.

Section 1. All property in the state except as
otherwise in this constitution provided, not ex-
empt under the laws of the United States, shall
be taxed! in proportion to its value, to be ascer^



talned as provided by law, or as hereinafter pro-
vided. The word "property," as used in this
article and section, is hereby declared to include
moneys, credits, bonds, stocks, dues, franchises,
and all other matters and things, real, personal,
and mixed, capable of private ownership; pro-
vided, that a mortgage, deed of trust, contract,
or other obligation by which a debt is secured
when land is pledged as security for the payment
thereof, together with the money represented by
such debt, shall not be considered property sub-
ject to taxation ; and further provided, that prop-
erty used for free public libraries and free mu-
seums, growing crops, property used exclusively
for public schools, and such as may belong to
the United States, this state, or to any county,
city and county, or municipal corporation within
this state shall be exempt from taxation, except
such lands and the improvements thereon located
outside of the county, city and county or munic-

^ Nine



Ipal corporation owning the same as were sub-
ject to taxation at the time of the acquisition of
the same by said county, city and. county or
municipal corporation; provided, that no Im-
provements of any character whatever construct-
ed by any county, city and county or municipal
corporation shall be subject to taxation. All
lands or improvements thereon, belonging to any
county, city and county or municipal corpora-
tion, not exempt from taxation, shall be assessed
by the assessor of the county, city and county
or municipal corporation In which said lands or
improvements are located, and said assessment
shall be subject to review, equalization and ad-
justment by the state board of equalization*
The legislature may provide, except in the case
of credits secured by mortgage or trust deed,
for a deduction from credits of debts due to bona
fide residents of this state.

Section 1, article XIII, proposed to be amendV
ed, now reads as follows:

BXISTINO LAW.

Section 1. All property In the state except as
otherwise in this constitution provided, not ex-
empt under the laws of the United States, shall
be taxed in proportion to its value, to be ascer-
tained as provided by law, or as hereinafter pro-
vided. The word "property," as used in this ar-
ticle and section, is hereby declared to Include
moneys, credits, bonds, stocks, dues, franchises,
and all other matters and things, real, personal,
and mixed, capable of private ownership; pro-
vided, that a mortgage, deed of trust, contract,
or other obligation by which a debt is secured
when land is pledged as security for the payment
thereof, together with the money represented by
such debt, shall not be considered property sub-
ject to taxation ; and further provided, that prop-
erty used for free public libraries and free mu-
seums, growing crops, property used exclusively
for public schools, and such as may belong to the
United States, this state, or to any county or
mimlclpal corporation within this state shall be
exempt from taxation. The legrlslature may pro-
vide, except in the case of credits secured -by
mortgage or trust deed, for a deduction from
credits of debts due to bona fide residents of this
state.

ARGUMENT IN FAVOR OF ASSEMBLY CON-
STITUTIONAL AMENDMENT NO. 6.

It provides for the taxation of such lands and
the improvements thereon located outside the
county, city and county or municipal corporation
owning the same, as were subject to taxation at
the time of the acquisition of the same by said
county, city and county or municipal corporation ;
provided, that no improvements of any character
whatever constructed by any county, city and
county or municipal corporation shall be subject
to taxation. All lands or improvements thereon,
belongrlng to any county, city and county or mu-
nicipal corporation, not exempt from taxation,
shall be assessed by the assessor of the county,
city and county or municipal corporation in
which said lands or improvements are located,
and said assessment shall be subject to review,
equalization and adjustment by the state board
of equalization.

This amendment does not seek to hinder In any
way the developmenl of enterprises by and for
the benefit of countiei or municipalities, in any
I>art of the state^ but to protect from loss those



counties Into which they may enter for such pur-
poses. A concrete illustration is afforded by the
counties of Tuolumne, Mono and Inyo. In fur-
therance of obtaining a large water supply, for
municipal and other uses, the purchase by San
Francisco in Tuolumne county aggregated over
^1,000,000.00 worth of property. Los Angeles, in
Owens river valley, acquired by purchase over
75,000 acres of land, amounting to over one sixth
of the assessed value, and more than one fourth
yt the located agricultural land of the county. The
city of iios Angeles has acquired large holdings
in Mono county. Before such acquisition the
area was tax-paying property. Since the acquisi-
tion in Inyo county the city of Lk)s Angeles has
continued to pay taxes, as a matter of justice,
tout its payments are accompanied by protests!
In order to preserve t' it the right of refusal to
pay which many contend that it has under the
constitutional provision as it stands at present,
and that it might sustain in case of legal contest
While not abandoning any right from a technical
standpoint, the city recognizes the justice of the
contention upon which this amendment is based.
The city of San Francisco refuses absolutely
to pay one dollar in taxes in Tuolumne county
on their $1,000,000.00 worth of property, con-
tending they are exempt fcom such a tax by a
constitutional provision.

The proposed amendment does not penalize Im-
provements that the invading corporation may
make. On the contrary, it expressly limits taxa-
tion to the property as acquired and excludes
any improvements thereafter made.

It further gives to the owning municipality or
county, assessed under its authority, the same
protection against unjust assessment that other
taxpayers enjoy, by making such assessments
subject to competent ofladal review.

It would be possible for an acquiring city or
county to virtually destroy the government of a
small county by acquiring, for one purpose or
another, for municipal use, the substance of its
revenue-yielding property. That such a result
would be improbable and extreme does not alter
the fact of its possibility. In the Inyo county
instance, refusal by the city of Los Angeles to
pay taxes upon real estate which has heretofore
borne its due share of the expense of the county
government would be a serious matter, either
curtailing the county's welfare or Imposing a
heavier burden on other property. With such a
result possible to a fractional extent, it would be
equally possible to the fullest extent that the
investing city might see fit to go.

It is to remedy such a condition that this
amendment was proposed. Uncertainty on the
matter should be removed by a legal assurance
that while natural resources witl In one county
may be directly used for the upbuilding of an-
other, lands or other property already upon the
invaded county's tax roll shall continue to bear
its share of maintaining the local government

It Is hoped, therefore, that the justice of this
amendment will insure for it the approval of the
people of the state.

Geo. a. Clarkb,
A«semblyman Forty-seventh DlBtriot



LOCAL TAXATION EXEMPTION.

Assembly Constitutional Amendment 7 adding section Sj/^ to article XIII of constlttitlcn.

Authorizes any county or municipality to exempt from taxation for local purposes in whole or
In part, any one or more of following classes of property: improvements in, on, or over land;
shipping; household furniture; live stock; merchandise; machinery; tools; farming implements;
vehicles; other personal property except franchises; provides that ordinance or resolution making
such exemptions shall be subject to referendum ; and requires that taxes upon property not exempt
from taxation shall be uniform.



Assembly Constitutional Amendment No. 7, a
resolution to propose to the people of the State
of California an amendment to the Constitu-
tion of the State of California by adding a
new section to article XIII, relating to reve-
nue and taxation.
The legislature of the State of California at its
fortieth regular session commencing on the sixth
day of January, nineteen hundred and thirteen,
two thirds of all members of each house of said
legislature voting in favor thereof, hereby pro-
pose an amendment to the Constitution of the
State of California, by addlng^ to article XIII a
new section.

Section 1. Article XIII, of the Constitution of
the State of California, is hereby amended by
adding thereto a new section to be numbered
eight and one half, to read as follows :

Section 8^. Any county, city and county, city
or town, may exempt from taxation for local
purposes In whole or In part, any one or more of
the following classes of property: improvements
In, on, or over land; shipping; household furni-
ture ; live stock ; merchandise ; machinery ; tools ;
farming implements; vehicles; other personal
property except franchises. Any ordinance or
resolution of any county, city and county, city or
town, exempting property from taxation, as in
this section provided, shall be subject to a refer-
endum vote as by law provided for ordinances or
resolutions. Taxes levied upon property not ex-
empt from taxation shall be uniform.

ARGUMENTS IN FAVOR OF ASSEMBLY CON^
STITUTIONAL AMENDMENT NO 7.

Any one who opposes this amendment Imme-
diately places the people of the State of Califor-
nia in the position of being unable to govern
themselves. In other words, the opponents are
opposed to self-government

The amendment is merely an enabling act, and
does not, of itself, adopt any system of taxation,
nor does it make any change in the present sys-
tems now In use. It merely gives to the people-
of the various political subdivisions, set forth
therein, the right to change their present system
of taxation to best suit the welfare and advance-
ment of their home city or town. For example,
if a city wants to encourage manufacturing, that
city could exempt manufacturing establishments
from taxation. If a city would have more
homes built within Its borders, houses could be
exempted. And so certain property might be
exempt as the nature of each case required.
This is what is called Home Rule in Taxation or
self-government.

Cities now having the right to say how their
money shall be spent should, by the same rea-
soning be entitled to adopt a svstem whereby that
money is to be raised. The constitution has re-
cently given to cities home rule by virtue of the
Initiative, referendum and recall, and It Is only
logical that cities should have home rule In mat-
ters pertaining to their tax system.

The present system of taxation is unjust, bur-
densome, complicated and costly. The taxpayer
Is compelled to pay a great number of deputies
each year to assess all forms of property, in-
cluding household furniture, gifts and other per-



sonal property. Thus are cities confronted with
a complicated system. If, for example, in a
given city the tax should be raised on the land
alone, thus exempting other forms of property,
it would Immediately lessen the cost of assess-
ment and would encourage building, thrift and
enterprise. For, it being no longer necessary to
be punished for being thrifty, people would nat-
urally brings into use land now held out of use.
Where land Is held out of use, for speculative
purposes, by the land barons of the state, society
suffers. If men realize, by virtue of a perfect
system of taxation, that It will not pay them to
keep land out of use, they will immediately begin
to Improve the land with the result that more
buildings will be erected, more mechanics, arti-
sans and laborers will be employed, a greater de-
mand for labor will ensue and an Increase In
wages will result. Consequently, the whole of
society will be benefited, and a better, grander
and more moral order of things will result

Colorado has adopted a similar amendment
and the city of Pueblo in that state Is working
under It to its fullest extent Vancouver and
other provinces of Western Canada have adopted
it, and there Is no noticeable desire to return to
the old system of taxation. The Minnesota Tax
Conunisslon has recently recommended It as well
as the Commission on New Sources of City Reve-
nue, city of New York.

Georqe Gblder,
Assembljrman Fortieth District



The general property tax for state purposes
was so unsatisfactory that California abandoned
it four years ago by separating state and local
taxation. The general property tax for local
purposes Is unsatis*"actory In California, as well
as in other states that have separated state and
local taxation.

The personal property tax Is unsatisfactory
wherever It is In force. It has been abandoned
In Pennsylvania, and outside of the United States
by every progressive nation. It Is condemned
by every thoughtful student of taxation as the
easiest tax to evade, as Incapable of equitable
enforcement, and as unjust The only way to
get rid of It In California Is by amending the
constitution.

Assembly Constitutional Amendment No. 7,
known as the Home Rule Tax Amendment gives
California counties, cities and towns the oppor-
tunity to abandon the personal property tax
wholly or in part at once or gradually, if they
wish to do so, but does not compel its abolition
if a county, city or town wishes to retain It

There Is a widespread and growing belief that"
taxes on Improvements work injustice to the
improver, operating to discourage improvements,
although improvements benefit a community.

Some counties, cities and towns may prefer to
abolish taxes on improvements; others may pre-
fer to retain the improvement taxes. One
county, citv or town has no Interest In the
method by which another raises Its local revenue,
therefore, uniformity Is not desirable, but merely
interferes with progress. But a constitutional
amendment Is necessary to permit counties, cities
and towns to tax or exempt Improvements, as



they may prefer, and the Home Rule Tax Amend-
ment gives that permission, without compelling
them either to exempt or to tax improvements.

Home rule in taxation is merely an extension
of the other home rule rights given by the Cali-
fornia constitution to counties, cities and towns.
Home rule in taxation is not an "untried experi-
ment." It has been in force in the western pro-
vinces of Canada for more than thirty years, in
New Zealand for twenty years, in the Australian
states for fifteen years, and in the irrigation dis-
tricts of California since 1909. The Minnesota
Tax Commission praises its operation in western
Canada.

The Home Rule Tax Amendment will enable
each county, city and town to adopt a system of
taxation that suits the people of the community,
without regard to what is done by the people of
other communities. Riverside county has no in-
terest in local taxation in Shasta or any other
county. Los Angeles has no interest in the local
taxation of Stockton.

The Home Rule Tax Amendment will permit
any county, city or town to exempt in whole or
in part certain classes of property. Should all
of these classes of property be exempted by any
county, city or town, it would then have the sys-
tem of taxation that has been so successful in
hundreds of cities, towns and rural communities
in Canada, Australia and New Zealand, as well
as in the Modesto, Oakdale and other irrigation
districts of California.

For these reasons the Home Rule Tax Amend-
ment should be approved.

Geo. B. Finnbgan,
Assemblyman Ninth District

ARGUMENT AGAINST ASSEMBLY CONSTI-
TUTIONAL AMENDMENT NO. 7.

If the proposed amendment to article XIII of
the constitution is adopted, it will create a new
revenue system, and will make possible a more
unequal system of taxation than now prevails.

The theory of taxation Is that It should be
equal, and all classes of property should be sub-
ject to just and equal taxation, and every tax
system should be statewide.

This amendment will authorize local governing
bodies to alter any tax system now or hereafter



Online LibraryCalifornia Legislative Counsel Bureau California. Secretary of StateAmendments to the Constitution and proposed statutes : with arguments ... → online text (page 3 of 36)