Prop 29 in California, which would impose a $1 per pack tax hike on cigarettes, is on the edge of defeat. Per this LA Times story, as of last night, Prop 29 is down by 63,000 votes, but there are still ballots to be counted. Why would one of the most liberal states in the country balk at a tax hike? Check out the comments from Jon Coupal, president of the Howard Jarvis Taxpayers Assn.
“Californians are not anti-government,” he said. “But they want value for their tax dollars, and they perceive correctly that they are not getting that in Sacramento.”
Taxpayers have soured on expensive new ventures that promise economic windfalls and easier daily lives, he said. They remember, he said, approving a $3-billion bond measure for stem-cell research, only to hear that outsized salaries were being collected by executives running the program. He said they remember passing a $9-billion state bond measure in 2008 to build a high-speed rail network, a project that has seen costs and roadblocks multiply.
By the way, California is billions in the hole and Gov. Jerry Brown is proposing hiking the sales tax and income tax for the highest earners.Read full article » No Comments »
Dan Way reports for Carolina Journal on the discussion among Orange County commissioners about the light rail plan they support — along with a half cent sales tax hike to help pay for it. The commissioners voted 5 to 2 to put the tax hike before voters in November. Pay special attention to the comments from commission chairwoman Bernadette Pelissier.
Yuhasz said the original plan has deteriorated and is no longer viable.
“This whole thing started as a regional plan,” but no longer maintains that scope without Wake County, Yuhasz said.
“We can talk about the details of this particular implementation,” he said. “But in the end we’re going to end up with a (light rail) plan that is too expensive, provides too little overall service and I don’t know how we can improve on that at all.”
But the majority of commissioners said the plan has been studied, debated and negotiated for years, and it was time for a vote.
“There are complications,” said Commissioners Chairwoman Bernadette Pelissier. “To me it doesn’t really help the public understand the plan any better” by having every negotiating point finalized. “Details sometimes don’t help people understand” as much as telling the public what the essence of the project is. There will be time after the plan is passed to help educate voters, she said.
“I think it is time to take it to the voters,” agreed Vice Chairwoman Pam Hemminger. She said the plan’s concept of preparing for population growth and transportation needs is more important than specific numbers because there is no way to foretell what “true costs are going to be.”
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