Vote No on Props. 30, 38, B1 | October 26, 2012 | Pleasanton Weekly | |

Pleasanton Weekly

Opinion - October 26, 2012

Vote No on Props. 30, 38, B1

Of the 11 statewide propositions on the Nov. 6 General Election ballot along with two county measures and one seeking a parcel tax for the Chabot-Las Positas College District, the Pleasanton Weekly finds only five to support: Propositions 32, 34, 35, 36 and 40. We'll tell you why next week.

For now, we are recommending No votes on all the others, most notably on Propositions 30 and 38, two competing measures that will raise sales tax and personal income rates "temporarily," and on Measure B1, a new Transportation Expenditure Plan that would extend a 1/2-cent sales tax in Alameda County by another half-cent virtually forever.

With regard to B1, it not only extends the half-cent sales tax already in place that's set to expire in 2022 -- another "temporary" tax voters were told -- but makes it a full penny until 2042, when the two-thirds majority vote for approval will be dropped to a simple majority to continue the measure in perpetuity. With 10 years yet to go on the original transportation tax, there's plenty of time for the Alameda County Transportation Commission to come back to voters with a new tax plan that includes a valid "sunset" clause, with no in-perpetuity gimmicks included.

Gov. Brown is on the statewide speaking circuit these days to promote Prop. 30, and with good reason. The tax he has championed is not selling well in an economically stressed state with continued high unemployment and reports regularly about companies that are leaving California for lower-tax states. Prop. 30 would increase the sales tax by one-quarter-cent for calendar years 2013-16, increase the maximum 9.3% personal income tax rate in stages to 12.3%, and add another 1% tax on annual incomes over $1 million. Prop. 30 and competing Prop. 38 have no guarantees the extra money will even reach schools, where financial help is needed.

Moving down the ballot:

* Prop. 31: Forces the Legislature to move to a two-year budget. It's a poorly written and contradictory proposition that will lead to lawsuits and confusion instead of reform. Vote No.

* Prop. 33: Changes the rules on how auto insurance companies and their customers deal with each other. Let's let the market drive the policies. Vote No.

* Prop. 37: Requires special labels on 40-70% of all foods currently sold in California if they contain genetically modified ingredients. This would add to labeling, distribution and monitoring costs, which the state's Department of Public Health is handling well. Vote No.

* Prop. 38: Increases personal income tax rates to provide funds for early childhood education programs in the public schools. Again, tax increases would be only "temporary," until 2024 at the latest with the caveat that some of the new money could be used for state debt payments. Vote No.

* Prop. 39: Changes California tax code to require multi-state firms to pay income taxes on their percentage of sales here, with half of the funds raised to go for "clean/efficient energy projects." This would be a $1 billion tax increase leading to more businesses leaving the state. Vote No.

* Measure A1: Levies a $12 parcel tax on Alameda County property owners until 2037 to fund improvements and expansion projects at the Oakland Zoo. Even if you love the zoo, this tax is bad public policy, forcing county taxpayers to pay at least $112 million in Oakland Zoo bills over the next 25 years. Vote No.

* Measure I: This measure just adds more taxes for those of us who live in the college district. It's another "temporary" levy in the form of a $28 parcel tax on owners of single-family homes that will last for six years. Unlike most parcel tax measures, this one doesn't exempt seniors or those living on disability payments. Vote No.


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Posted by Resident
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Oct 26, 2012 at 9:50 am

" the Pleasanton Weekly finds only five to support: Propositions 32, 34, 35, 36 and 40. We'll tell you why next week."

Why next week? Can you tell us your thoughts now?

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Posted by Steve
a resident of Lydiksen Elementary School
on Oct 26, 2012 at 12:00 pm

Found two articles discussing problems with Prop 31. It is scarily confusing and is likely designed that way:

This link describes the prop as taking away local responsibility for budgeting and local governments will "voluntarily" pool tax receipts that will be controlled by an unelected regional agency: Web Link

This link describes new and scary powers given to the Governor for slashing the budget and endangering environmental and health and human services programs, plus many other problems: Web Link

Prop 31 is a bad law and must be stopped. VOTE NO on PROP 31.

Like this comment
Posted by Bill
a resident of Amberwood/Wood Meadows
on Oct 26, 2012 at 12:34 pm

" infinity and beyond."

Battle cry of the Democratic Party and campaign slogan for Demarcus and Cook-Kallio.

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Posted by OK
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Oct 26, 2012 at 11:48 pm

I compliment PW for NO 30, NO 38, NO B1. In fact their other NOs are also the correct choices. Big NOs on 31, 33, 37, 38, 39......
The message must get thru, there is NO money, NO chance for consideration of anything else, UNTIL REAL FIXES ARE MADE TO CURRENT UNION CONTRACTS AT EVERY LEVEL ! ! ! LISTEN UP ! THAT IS REALITY ! Brown's phony, faux fix pretense starts with people who have NOT YET been hired !! that is NO fix, the horrors would continue ...
Those problems exist at every level, city, county, state.
YES on 32 must happen IF we are to ever fix anything else. No point of adding more band-aids every 2 years. YES would help FIX the problem.

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Posted by OK Gets it
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Oct 27, 2012 at 1:29 am

The only way to correct the problem of increased public employee compensation followed by escalating taxes - which provides even more money to pay for more increased compensation which leads to more demands for increased taxes - is to just say NO! Enough is Enough!

Vote NO on 30, 38 and B-1! Vote yes on 32 if you're sick & tired of unions running this state, county, and local elections though campaign contributions while also placing union members on school boards and in city council positions - all of which are in positions to approve multi-million dollar contracts that benefit themselves and the union members that financially support them.

Again, Vote NO on 30, 38 and B-1. Challenge anyone that claims not approving these additional taxes will hurt education or transportation. It is not true. It is a lie.

The truth is that approving these measures will only provide enough funds to help mask the poor decisions of past and current administrations/councils, while ignoring the problems that created the issues in the first place. The Jerry Brown sound bytes are a farce and disgrace.

The Governor has negotiated back-end loaded state employee contracts in 2009 thinking that by 2013 the recession would be over and the issue would simply disappear - It's not over and the problems he ignored are only getting worse. He claimed he was working for the people but that claim is all but gone given the worsening economy and the BAD State Employee Contracts he signed - and it's about to backfire in a BIG way. But Jerry has a plan...

Jerry Brown’s escape plan is to pay for his mistakes by claiming education and public safety will be cut if we don't agree to - YET MORE SELF IMPOSED TAX HIKES. It isn't true - but he wants YOU to believe otherwise. Jerry & Sacramento only have one plan; beg for your money and give it to the public employee unions that he is so intimidated by.

Nancy Reagan had it right - Just Say NO!

NO on 30
NO on 38
NO on B-1

YES on 32

Like this comment
Posted by Tracy
a resident of Downtown
on Nov 4, 2012 at 6:44 pm

The PW article is not quite complete. Prop 30 imposes a surcharge on those earning over $250K a year, not on everyone as the article implies.

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Posted by the sales tax
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Nov 4, 2012 at 8:27 pm

is on everyone. If you really care about schools 38 is better. Unfortunately there are lots of people who don't think about things here. Sad.