Proposition 26, which has been flying under the radar, would expand the definition of taxes so that any new fees imposed by state and local governments would require a two-thirds vote by the Legislature. It would effectively shift the responsibility for paying for the public health, environmental, and public safety costs associated with harmful products from producers to taxpayers.
According to Mark Murray, Executive Director of Californians Against Waste:
From toxic electronics, to used oil and old tires, to beverage containers, California has applied the polluter pays principle to the clean-up of product-based pollution. Without the ability to assign the actual cost of pollution clean up to product makers, waste will increase and the cost will be borne by local governments and tax payers.
This measure would completely undermine current and future waste reduction and recycling policy. Just look at the supporters of this proposition - state campaign finance records show that in the past month, Chevron and the American Beverage Association have each donated $2 million; Philip Morris, $750,000; Conoco-Phillips, $500,000; Anheuser Busch, $500,000; Occidental Petroleum, $250,000; and Shell Oil, $200,000.