Welcome to the Tuesday, July 11, Brew.
Here’s what’s in store for you as you start your day:
- Half of state supreme court retirements have been mandatory in 2023
- Voters have decided on 959 parcel tax measures in California since 2008
- Iowa, New Hampshire received the most visits from noteworthy presidential candidates on July 4
Half of state supreme court retirements have been mandatory in 2023
Halfway through 2023, state supreme courts have had an equal number of mandatory and voluntary retirements, following last year’s upward trend in the percentage of mandatory retirements relative to 2019-2021.
From 2019 to 2021, about one in every four retirements were mandated, while the remaining were voluntary. In 2022, mandatory retirements increased to one in three. This is the first time there’s been an even split between mandatory and voluntary retirements on state supreme courts since 2019.
There have been 103 state supreme court vacancies since 2019. Retirements accounted for 89 of those vacancies. Seven justices have been elevated to a federal court, four have died in office, two have ascended into the chief justice position, and one was defeated for re-election.
Of the 89 retirements, most were caused by the justice voluntarily vacating their seat.
Thirty-one states and the District of Columbia have set mandatory retirement ages for state court judges.
There are 344 state supreme court justices across 52 courts of last resort. Judicial selection methods for state supreme court justices vary by state. Twenty-two states use partisan or nonpartisan elections to select justices. The remaining states use other methods in which the legislature or governor selects justices.
In 2020, we conducted a study identifying the partisan balance on every state supreme court. You can find that research here. We also identified which justices ruled together most often in our Determiners and Dissenters report found here.
Click below to learn more about state supreme court vacancies.
Voters have decided on 959 parcel tax measures in California since 2008
California voters are frequently asked to vote on a kind of tax not seen in any other state—the parcel tax. Californians decided 959 local parcel tax ballot measures from 2008 to 2023.
A parcel tax is a form of property tax based on the characteristics of a unit of property—a parcel—rather than the assessed value. A parcel tax can be levied on square footage or by dwelling unit, or the tax may be a flat rate per parcel. Cities, counties, school districts, or other local government entities enact parcel taxes to generate additional revenue for specific purposes, such as funding public schools, libraries, parks, fire stations, or other local services. Local governments turned to parcel taxes to raise revenue after voters approved Proposition 13, a constitutional amendment that limited property taxes, in 1978.
Parcel taxes usually require voter approval, often requiring a two-thirds majority vote for passage.
From 2008 to 2022,there were an average of 68 parcel tax measures on the ballot. During an odd-numbered year, like 2023, an average of 36 parcel tax measures were on the ballot in California. There have been nine parcel tax measures on the ballot so far this year. Eight were approved and one was defeated.
Between 2008 and 2022, 569 (59.89%) parcel tax measures were approved and 381 (40.11%) were defeated.
Voters in Kirkwood Meadows Public Utility District, a 1.875-square-mile special district in the Sierra Nevada, will decide the next parcel tax measure—Measure E—on July 11 (today!). It would enact a tax on non-exempt residential and commercial parcels based on the number of parking spaces assigned to each parcel. The tax would be no more than $513 per parking space and would provide funding for the Kirkwood Volunteer Fire Department. Owners of the parcels would pay the tax. A two-thirds vote is required to approve Measure E.
While there are often several measures to tax parking lot parcels during an election cycle, a parcel tax based on the number of parking spots is uncommon.
We provide comprehensive coverage of local ballot measures in California, as well as in the top 100 largest cities in the U.S., state capitals, and all local measures related to policing and ranked-choice voting.
Click below to read more about parcel tax elections in California.
Iowa, New Hampshire received the most visits from noteworthy presidential candidates on July 4
Let’s catch up on the latest 2024 presidential election activity.
As of July 10, 2023, we’ve identified three noteworthy Democratic presidential candidates and 13 noteworthy Republican candidates. Here’s where they campaigned between July 3-10.
- Joe Biden (D) delivered a speech about manufacturing and renewable energy investment in South Carolina on July 6. That day, Biden was also endorsed by Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-N.Y.).
- Marianne Williamson (D) campaigned in New Hampshire on July 4, and held a campaign event in Detroit, Michigan on July 7.
- Doug Burgum (R) campaigned in New Hampshire from July 4 to July 5.
- Ron DeSantis (R) campaigned in New Hampshire on July 4.
- Larry Elder (R) campaigned in Iowa on July 4 and July 6.
- Nikki Haley (R) campaigned in New Hampshire from July 6 to July 8.
- Will Hurd (R) campaigned in New Hampshire on July 4.
- Asa Hutchinson (R) campaigned in Iowa on July 4 and in South Carolina from July 6 to July 7.
- Mike Pence (R) campaigned in Iowa from July 4 to July 6.
- Vivek Ramaswamy (R) campaigned in Ohio on July 4. On July 10, he launched a fundraising program called Vivek’s Kitchen Cabinet that would allow supporters to earn a 10% commission on fundraising they do for his campaign.
- Tim Scott (R) campaigned in New Hampshire on July 4.
- Francis Suarez (R) campaigned in Iowa on July 4.
- Donald Trump (R) held an event in South Carolina on July 1 and an event in Iowa on July 7. He spoke at a volunteer recruitment event in Nevada on July 8.
We did not identify any campaign activity from Robert F. Kennedy Jr. (D), Chris Christie (R) or Corey Stapleton (R) during this time frame. To read more about how we define campaign activity, click here.
At this point in the 2020 cycle, 28 noteworthy candidates were running for president. Twenty-six were seeking the Democratic nomination, and two (Trump and former Massachusetts Governor Bill Weld) were seeking the Republican nomination.
In the 2016 election, 19 noteworthy candidates had announced their campaigns as of July 7, 2015. There
were five Democrats and 14 Republicans.
You can keep tabs on 2024 presidential campaign activity at the link below.