Will Retroactive Proposition 30 Ever Be Challenged?
Orange County Lawyer, March 2015, pp. 22-24
3 Pages Posted: 13 Aug 2015 Last revised: 18 Aug 2015
Date Written: March 1, 2015
Professor Doti's article challenges the constitutionality of California Proposition 30. California voters passed Proposition 30 in 2012 to increase for seven years the income tax rates for those making more than $250,000. The highest tax bracket for individuals with more than $500,000 in taxable income was increased from 9.3% to 12.3%. Proposition 30 was approved by voters on November 6, 2012, but the increased rates were made retroactive — without effective notice — to January 1, 2012.
Retroactive tax laws eviscerate respect for the law and may result in a deprivation of due process of law under the Fifth Amendment of the U.S. Constitution. Proposition 30 exemplifies the inherent unfairness of a retroactive tax and may be unconstitutional. But challenging it may be a tough battle, as the United States Supreme Court has been deferential to retroactive taxes.
Keywords: constitutionality, California Proposition 30, passed in 2012, retroactive, no effective notice, Fifth Amendment, U.S. Constitution, Fourteenth Amendment
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