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At the Margins of Taxpayer Standing

It may come as little surprise that in order to assert taxpayer standing, one must be a taxpayer. In fact it may be more surprising to learn that standing to bring suit can be premised only upon payment of taxes. A concept long rejected for federal taxpayers, payers of state and local tax nonetheless have broad standing under California law to bring suits to restrain the illegal expenditure or waste of public funds or property. While this rule has great breadth, it is not without limits. Foremost among them: The plaintiff must actually pay tax, a principle recently confirmed by the 1st District Court of Appeal in Reynolds v. City of Calistoga. 2014 DJDAR 1431 (Feb. 3, 2014).

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