Overview of Proposition 218
"The Right to Vote on Taxes Initiative"

Presented To The Senate Local Government Committee


Proposition 218 would:

Proposition 218 affects most local government revenues, including garbage collection fees, fire assessments, and utility user taxes. The only local revenues not affected directly by Proposition 218 are: fees for local services not related to property, gas and electric charges, fees collected as a condition of property development, and intergovernmental transfers.


Which are affected?

All new assessments and some existing assessments. Existing assessments exempt from the measure's provisions are those that meet at least one of the following conditions:

Major Provisions


Which are affected?

Major Provisions

Initiatives and Taxes

Major Provisions

Fiscal Effect

If Proposition 218 is adopted by the voters, we estimate that:


Proposition 218 is a major measure with significant implications for local governments, property owners, businesses, and California residents.

The measure would restrict local government's ability to raise most forms of revenue. This restriction would result in lower payments by individuals and businesses to local government--and less spending for local public services.

Proposition 218's (1) requirement that many existing fees, assessments and taxes be recalculated and submitted to a vote, (2) expansion of the initiative powers, and (3) shift of burden of proof in lawsuits challenging fee and assessment amounts all serve to increase local residents' direct control over local government finances, but decrease the certainty in local government finance.