Magazine article Nation's Cities Weekly

Local Votes Go Well for Cities

Magazine article Nation's Cities Weekly

Local Votes Go Well for Cities

Article excerpt

Cities won victories on a number of fronts in elections across the country last week, rejecting proposed mandates and intrusions on municipal authority and winning on a high percentage of bond referendums. One of the most key victories was the overwhelming rejection of a takings initiative in the state of Washington, which had been projected to impose unfunded mandates costing between $3.8 and $11 billion annually on local governments.

The Washington state rejection came just a week before the U.S. Senate is scheduled to take up a federal takings bill strongly opposed by NLC.

Voters approved $5.96 billion of municipal bond proposals, rejected a series of gambling initiatives, and rejected a series of statewide efforts to intrude upon local authority.

Mandates and Local Authority

By a 60-40 margin, voters in Washington rejected Referendum 48, the Private Property Regulatory Fairness Act, which would have undermined the ability of cities in Washington to enact zoning ordinances. The provision would have mandated cities and towns to reimburse property owners when new land use, zoning, or other regulations resulted in a loss of property value. The vote came after the University of Washington released a study estimating the cost to Washington state local governments of a controversial property rights initiative to be between $3.8 and $11 billion annually.

In San Fransisco, voters overwhelmingly rejected a proposal which would have reduced parking fines and city revenues, while raising the city's parking control costs. …

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