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January 26
1990 - "Duplicates" premieres at L.A. Phil; concerto by CalArts Music School dean Mel Powell wins Pulitzer Prize [story]
Mel Powell


Commentary by Betty Arenson
| Friday, Jun 15, 2018

There are a lot of exhibits to hold up and show the failures of California, but one item that the dominant Left never fails at is making sure the state lives up to its alter-ego of Taxifornia.

It’s nearly useless to remind taxpaying citizens that Jerry Brown promised no new taxes without voter input. The governor and his band of bandits proved it again with the late-night passage of an increased gas tax of 12 cents per gallon in addition to a huge increase on car registration fees.

Hard-working men and women tirelessly striving to budget while trying to get to work to earn a paycheck, be damned: This governor and his buddies demand your money, period.

In response to taxpayers’ criticisms, Brown made it clear during a speech in Orange County in May 2017 that he was tired of hearing complaints and called us “freeloaders.” This dovetails with the Howard Jarvis Taxpayers Association reminding us that during Barbara Kerr’s tenure as California Teachers Association president, she said taxpayers who oppose new taxes are “cheap.” She went on to win many awards and recognitions.

The most recent attempt at yet one more tax was an informative editorial from the L.A. Daily News. It’s called the “tap water tax.”

For some history, California voters just bought the feel-good tax proposition that was stated to raise yet another $4 billion for “clean water” funds. Days later, Brown declared it isn’t enough.

Traveling at lightning speed, there will be another ballot measure in November to raise another $8 billion. In the meantime, Brown is hustling for this (third) measure, a “tax,” painting it as a $140 million- per-year necessity to clean up water for rural users.

The new tax would be about $1 per month for each residence and $4-$10 per month for businesses.

In keeping with the usual tactic, sleazy but legal, the addicted tax-and-spenders tried to add this additional clean water debauchery as a rider to an existing bill. Such a rider is called a “trailer bill.”

A trailer bill-spot bill is literally a blank space, and it gets voted on as part of other legislation. Later, during the “semi-secret budget process,” the blank spots are amended by filling in the blanks, and it is promptly passed into law.

If the state Senate had its way, the water tax would have been masked (my observation) by the appearance of the money coming from the general fund, by the federal government or by selling bonds. By contrast, the Assembly thought it should be a statewide tax. The latter makes it very clear to the people: There’s no mask – it is a new tax.

The trailer failed, but SB-623, the Affordable and Safe Drinking Water Fund, lives on. As usual, the text of the bill has a lot of feel-good language but naturally includes, you guessed it, more taxes.

Irrespective of the disagreements between agriculture, dairy farmers and citrus farmers, new taxes are to be imposed on fertilizer sales and on each and every dairy and livestock facility and operation.

An analysis of the Appropriations Committee says the taxes are a measly 20 percent of what is needed; therefore, all California water users must pay the remaining 80 percent.

We are already experiencing increased water rates. For we obedient and environmentally concerned water users who complied with saving more water than requested, we were thanked with higher rates, then more on top of that.

A lot of us are wondering when the voter revolution starts and when voters will wise up and stop voting for the warm and fuzzy sound bites.

A lesson to be learned and learned well: “It is and never will be enough.” Vote accordingly.

 

Betty Arenson is a Valencia resident who believes in the Constitution in its entirety and that laws should be upheld and apply to everyone equally.

 

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8 Comments

  1. james harris says:

    Reality check. You need to take care of infrastructure, bridges, streets, etc. Californians have been avoiding maintenance for years. The bill is due. Suck it up. It is not a left/right issue. Would you change your worn out tires? Would you change the oil in your engine? We’ve had a dearth of leaders willing to take care our once world class transportation system. Now we do.

  2. Clay Calhoun says:

    Good article. Totally agree.

  3. mellie says:

    You’ve done it again, Betty.I wonder if there are enough voters in this State who will take heed. Somehow, I doubt that.

  4. Gary Horton says:

    Betty,

    Then when ever will you leave for the Great State of Texas? Or Oklahoma? Or North Dakota? Or….?

  5. Art L. says:

    Being born and raised in Connecticut and constantly dreaming about living in California, and after living in Florida for about 10 years, I finally relocated to Santa Clarita in 1999. While living in California for the 16 years that I did, I never, ever thought I’d move out. I loved life in California, but the reality of finances and high taxes were always on my coattails. As I crept closer to retirement age, as much as I hated to, I realized there was just no way I could possibly afford to retire there. So with tears in my eyes, my wife and I packed up the Penske truck and moved back to Florida in 2015. It’s not bad here if you can learn to deal with oppressive humidity in the summer months and I did buy a brand new house for cash, but I do miss living in California every single day! Very sad! It’s reaching the point of where only the rich can afford to live there.

  6. Art L. says:

    I lived in Stevenson Ranch from 1999 to 2015, but the high cost of living and high taxes chased me out. I miss California every day. Florida is just not the same, but it’s not bad and WAY more affordable!

  7. John Monsen says:

    Californians will elect Gavin Newson Governor by a huge margin, perhaps a landslide. As the Trump folk are so fond of saying, elections count. Under often liberal regimes over the last six decades (there are some exception) Somehow, poor, failing California keeps moving up the economic ladder. In May it became the 5th largest economy in the world behind the US, China, Japan and Germany.

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