News In Brief

New tax-cutting initiative on the ballot in California

A new tax-cutting initiative has qualified for California's November ballot. The plan is aimed at giving property taxpayers a $1.3 billion refund, while making it harder for local governments to boost taxes.

The initiative is backed by Howard Jarvis, cosponsor of the 1978 Proposition 13 property-tax-cut initiative. He calls his new effort ''Save 13,'' because it would overturn state Supreme Court decisions allowing certain local taxes to be raised without a two-thirds approval by voters.

California Secretary of State March Fong Eu said Thursday that county election officials, by random sampling, validated at least 742,525 of the 983, 000 signatures collected. The measure needed 630,616 to qualify.

A group calling itself Californians for Efficient Local Government said it planned to spend more than $1 million to fight Jarvis's measure, and opposition is expected from organized labor, local government officials and water districts.

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