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Why he’s voting for Brown’s tax proposition

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POSTED July 23, 2012 12:49 a.m.

Editor, Manteca Bulletin,

I for one will be voting for Gov. Brown’s tax initiative. I don’t like paying taxes anymore than anyone else, but if paying an additional 1/4 of a cent sales tax for the next four years will benefit education in the state, then I’m willing to make that small sacrifice. An excess of quality education is not a problem that our state suffers from.  I believe that California’s educational system recently ranked 47th in the nation.

And I certainly favor the provisions in the initiative that tax the wealthy residents of our state a little bit more for the next seven years. Those making $250,000 or more per year can afford it.  Our tax codes, state and federal, are not extremely complex and mind-boggling because so many of us are filing a simple 1040A form. The tax system has become so unimaginably complex because corporations and wealthy individuals, through their lobbyists and political lackeys, have loaded it up with loop-holes and methods for the rich to get out of paying any taxes whatsoever.  Ask Mitt Romney about that subject.  If the corporations and the wealthy did pay their fair share of taxes, the rest of us wouldn’t be put in the position of having to make up for their missing contributions with a sales tax increase, however insignificant.

The fact that some politicians or their staff, and the U.C regents make too much money is no reason to vote against this proposition.  There are plenty of people who make more than they are worth. Jamie Dimon, CEO of J.P Morgan Chase & Co., makes over $11,000 an hour, and under his watchful, hard-working leadership, they have lost billions due to poor investments.  If he’s ever fired, he will no doubt leave with hundreds of millions of dollars in severance pay, as so many corporate officers have done before him.  Is that a good reason to never walk into a bank again, and instead keep your money in a mattress?

I see this small sales tax increase as similar, in a way, to the landscape maintenance district (LMD) fees that have been the subject of the Bulletin’s coverage recently.  Everyone benefits in some way from the well cared for landscaping throughout the city. Those living in the LMD neighborhoods will probably gain more in increased property values than they ever pay out in fees.  This certainly isn’t a tax that just seems to evaporate into thin air, from which the taxpayers never experience any tangible results.  I’m also delighted that the city requires all new businesses to landscape their properties.  I had reason to go in to Hayward the other day.  The business section is just plain ugly, with rows and rows of crummy looking used car lots, with portable office structures, and plenty of those ubiquitous flag banners.  What a dump!  I’m glad that our Mayor and City Council are on the ball on these issues.

So, I will hold my nose and vote “yes” on Proposition 30, not because I have money to burn, but because it may help to get the state out of the mess that we’ve gotten into over the years, while the wealthy and the corporations have been lining their pockets at our expense.

Stephen Breacain
Manteca
July 22, 2012

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