by Timothy Sandefur
If you want a building permit in the city of Carlsbad, California, be prepared to pay. And if you can't afford the $100,000+ that the city demands, be prepared to sign a contract giving up your constitutionally guaranteed right to vote on property tax assessments.
The California Constitution (Prop. 218, specifically) guarantees every property owner the opportunity to vote on whether he or she should be forced to pay assessments for street improvements. But under the Carlsbad's scheme, property owners are required either to pay upfront, or to waive their right to vote. What's more, the waiver applies not only to the property owner, but to any later owner of that property.
This is the subject of PLF's latest lawsuit, filed today. Read more here.