Monday, April 30, 2007

To tax myself or not to tax myself...

...that is the question in my mind leading up to the May 8th election. I'm still Undecided and not leaning in either direction.

In today's ABJ, an article about the proposed tax has racked up an impressive 64 comments by this evening, almost all of them opposed to the tax. Unfortunately, most of the arguments are not compelling. These folks are anti-tax on principle rather than speaking to the specifics of the proposition. There are the usual anti-union rabble who blame the need for a tax increase on union salaries and benefits. If only they'd just get over the jealousy and join the IWW.

From the Issue 17 web site, here is a look at how the tax will be used:

How Proceeds from Issue 17 will be used each year:
Additional Police Officers 2.5 million
Neighborhood Improvements 3.6 million
_ Streets, Parks, Housing
Additional After School Programs 1.0 million
Flood Control 1.0 million
Replacement of Equipment 1.0 million
(Safety forces & Service)
Job Retention and Creation 9.0 million
Land Banking
Infrastructure required for job development
Neighborhood Business Districts
The Job Retention and Creation category is the problem. That's 9 million dollars for something that is very non-specific. I'm not sure I feel like giving up $33 per 10,000 of my salary for an ambiguous goal.

What is really missing here is any indication that human kind is facing a future that will be markedly different due to climate change. If only any of the above needs were tied to greener ways of living in our community, I’d be rooting for it whole-heartedly. But I suspect that any building of new structures will be done in the same old ways without any concern for lessening the environmental impact upon the land, air and waterways.

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