Reform Contains  Hidden Provisions that Will Cost Taxpayers Billions

Taxpayer, homeowner, police and fire, education, business, environmental, local government and community groups are opposing a deceptive initiative on California’s November ballot, dubbed the “Taxpayer Trap” initiative. Proponents say this measure is about eminent domain reform. But that’s just the bait. The trap is hidden within the fine print of the measure — far-reaching provisions that will cost taxpayers billions of dollars. Here’s why leading organizations oppose Proposition 90.

The Taxpayer Trap would:

  • Cost all taxpayers billions. Prop. 90 will require billions of dollars in new payouts any time a law or regulation is passed to protect our neighborhoods, control development, protect air and water quality, restrict undesirable businesses or enact new consumer protection laws. That’s because the measure contains a hidden provision that allows virtually anyone to sue claiming a new law or regulation has impacted the value of their property or business – no matter how far-fetched the claim – and taxpayers will be on the hook to pay the bill.
  • Result in thousands of frivolous lawsuits and more bureaucracy and red tape. Prop. 90 encourages frivolous lawsuits and new layers of bureaucracy and red tape. Virtually any speculative landowner or business looking for a windfall can file a lawsuit under this measure, claiming even the most minor new law has impacted the value of their property. After a somewhat similar law was recently passed in Oregon (a much smaller state), nearly 2,000 claims were filed – seeking $3.8 billion in payments that taxpayers of that state could ultimately have to pay.
  • Drive up the cost of infrastructure projects like schools, traffic relief and flood control. Prop. 90 requires new and unreasonable payouts whenever agencies acquire property for public works. These provisions will drive up the cost of infrastructure projects, cause delays, or even halt work on much-needed community projects. Taxpayers pay, or citizens lose out on the congestion relief, road repairs, schools, utility services and other infrastructure projects we need.
  • Prevent voters and state and local agencies from enacting environmental protections. Prop. 90’s provisions would severely restrict the ability of voters and local and state agencies to enact and enforce basic laws that protect our coastline, preserve open spaces and farmland, protect air and water quality, and protect environmentally sensitive areas. The measure makes pollution a property right, forcing the taxpayers to pay to stop pollution.
  • Jeopardize funds for police, fire and other critical local services and make it more difficult to enact new consumer protection and even anti-crime laws. Prop. 90 would dramatically reduce resources available for local police and fire protection, emergency response and other critical local services by forcing local governments to pay billions of dollars to enact measures that protect communities. It will also discourage new consumer protection and criminal laws from being enacted. For example, the initiative could require new taxpayer payouts for laws protecting consumers from identity theft, fraud and other crimes if the offending business makes a claim that such laws “damage” their business – payouts that could make these laws too costly to enact.
  • Undermine the authority of local communities and local voters. Prop. 90 will undermine the ability of local communities and even local voters to decide what types areas. The measure makes pollution a property right, forcing the taxpayers to pay to stop pollution.

(Note:  The source for the above material is

Did you think this sort of initiative is only on the ballot in California?  Not so.  The pro-Prop. 90 campaign raised and spent about $2.4 million through the end of June. Of that total, $1.5 million came from Howie Rich of New York who grew wealthy in real estate and owns apartments across the country.  That should be a warning to mobile home owners right there!  In fact Mr. Rich is funding similar ballots in 10 other states.  Oregon passed Measure 37 a year ago.  The consequences are already being felt..