Blazing A Trail For More Local Taxes By Ballot Initiative

By Eric Coffill and Robert Merten III (September 7, 2017, 1:08 PM EDT) -- On Aug. 28, 2017, in California Cannabis Coalition v. City of Upland, the California Supreme Court held local taxes imposed by taxpayers via initiative are subject to less stringent requirements than taxes imposed by local governments pursuant to Proposition 218.[1] This opinion has far-flung ramifications on how local taxes can be imposed in California.

The facts and procedural history of the case are briefly as follows. In 2014, the California Cannabis Coalition (CCC) circulated a taxpayer initiative petition that would replace existing provisions in the city of Upland's municipal code prohibiting medical marijuana dispensaries, with regulations to permit and establish marijuana...

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