MISSION & HISTORY
The Orange County Taxpayers Association is the only countywide organization whose exclusive focus is to represent taxpayers on governmental tax and spending policy issues. Our mission is to ensure that taxes and tax-supported programs are fair, understandable, cost-effective, and good for the economy.
The Orange County Taxpayers Association, founded in 1986 by a group of Orange County taxpayers and business owners, is a non-partisan, non-profit organization with a solid history of working to support taxpayer issues.
Preserving and protecting Proposition 13 has and will always be a major focus for OCTax. From successfully opposing Proposition 170 in the early 1990’s thru today, we have continued to fight any attempt to lower voter thresholds for raising special taxes. Proposition 13 has brought much needed fiscal stability to not only California taxpayers but also state and local government.
We were one of the first organizations to identify and publicize against the unsustainable expansion of public employee benefits. This position landed our founder and past President Emeritus Reed Royalty a seat on the Orange County Employee Retirement System Board of Directors for over a decade. OCTax unsuccessfully fought the vote to grant the 3% at 50 pension benefit for public safety and subsequent formula increases for general employees. We have supported county efforts and state legislation that would implement a hybrid system that would include a defined- contribution component.
In 1992, OCTax unsuccessfully opposed the “ERAF Shift” which took billions of dollars from counties, cities and special districts and gave it to schools. This was a principal cause of Orange County becoming a “donor county” to the rest of the state. This is an issue that will remain at the forefront for the Orange County Taxpayers Association until tax equity is established among California counties.
OCTax believes that taxpayers are in the best position to decide whether or not to tax themselves. We successfully supported Proposition 218, which requires voter approval of most local tax increases, and our list of criteria for judging the merit of school bond measures has become standard for school bonds, and many have been incorporated into state law. We supported the passage of Measure M and the renewal of Measure M because it illustrated our mission statement: “taxes should be fair, understandable, cost-effective, and good for the economy.”
Since our inception, we have been firm supporters of property rights and the use of fee-supported versus tax-supported governmental services. Each election year OCTax educates taxpayers on ballot propositions and how they will be impacted, as well as analyzing state legislation and how it will affect Orange County taxpayers and businesses.