Monday, July 28, 2008

The Will of the People

In 2004, California voters approved Proposition 1A. Eighty-four percent of us voted for it, 16% against. Prop 1A provided that local property and sales taxes revenues would stay in the community and fund local libraries, parks and public safety and health facilities, rather than going to Sacramento where it would disappear to wherever the rest of our state tax money goes.

This law was designed to go into effect in 2006, so we have only had two years of benefit from it, and now Governor Schwarzenegger is threatening to pull the plug. The proposition came with a proviso that these local funds could be "borrowed" by the state if the Governor declares a fiscal necessity and two-thirds of the Legislature concur. Sure, the state would have to pay the money back to the communities with interest within three years, but where is it going to come from three years from now? It's like your alcoholic pal asking for some money to buy booze, for which he swears he will pay you back. When he gets his tax return. Or his next paycheck. Yeah, right.
In the meantime, our local libraries and parks will suffer badly. Worse, wait till you need the County fire department or ambulance after their budget has been gutted.

Our state legislators want only one thing more than they want to balance California's budget. They want to keep their jobs. If you are unhappy with this plan let them know, and if more than 1/3 of them listen, it can't go through.


MaryWalkerBaron said...

During the past several years it has been easy to forget that it is still possible for the people to have a voice in the government we created for us. Thanks, Leslie, for reminding us that we can raise our voices and still be heard.

Anonymous said...

Can we raise enough voices? Are people concerned enough about property and sales taxes to write to our legislatures or are they too busy with day-to-day living?