Measure A in Sonoma County

Election DayWe here in Sonoma County are voting on Measure A, Sonoma County General Sales Tax, tomorrow. Here is the text of the measure:

Shall the people of Sonoma County enact a one-quarter percent sales tax for general governmental purposes such as public safety, local roads and pothole repair, senior, student and veterans transit and other essential services within the nine cities and unincorporated area for 5 years with annual audits made available to the public showing how all revenue was spent the previous year?

I have to admit to not being totally thrilled with the measure because of the “public safety” funding. Is this going to go for more overtime pay for our local police to stand around doing DUI checkpoints? The interesting things about our DUI checkpoints is that they almost never catch any drunk drivers; instead, they catch people driving on expired registrations. We’re supposed to feel good about this.

Much more important, however, I don’t like sales tax increases. They are a regressive way of paying for services. But it is a good way to make up for the constantly lowering gas taxes — another regressive tax. So I’m reluctantly voting for Measure A. But the world is on notice: I am very annoyed by the continuing process of cutting taxes on the rich and piling on less obvious tax burdens to the poor.

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About Frank Moraes

Frank Moraes is a freelance writer and editor online and in print. He is educated as a scientist with a PhD in Atmospheric Physics. He has worked in climate science, remote sensing, throughout the computer industry, and as a college physics instructor. Find out more at About Frank Moraes.

6 thoughts on “Measure A in Sonoma County

  1. The phrase “such as” in your proposal seems pretty weasely, as if the list of things that follows is a laundry list of maybes. “Veterans’ transit” is the one that really stands out. I live in the Detroit area, and it ain’t for nothing they call it the Motor City. I want a mass transit system that makes the automobile a luxury rather than a necessity. Instead, mass transit, on the rare occasions it does bubble up to public policy debate consciousness, is treated almost as a charitable program, and the people assumed to be its usual constituents are paraded for the TV cameras–students, seniors, people with disabilities, maybe poor people if they can demonstrate that they’re fiercely hard-working, and now, I suppose, veterans. It’s like there’s the deserving carless and the undeserving carless. Meanwhile no one sees any problem with “must have own reliable transportation” in help wanted verbiage.

    • Good observation. We really make it almost a necessity for people to own cars. Which is just another giant economic drain. They’re hugely expensive to own and maintain. Car culture is a major reasons most Americans are in debt (along with health care.) It’s ridiculous.

        • Before I learned about concussion damage, I liked football a bit. But only when players did acrobatic body convolutions to catch passes with one hand or leap over defenders. Then I learned about concussions, and realized I hate everything football stands for.

          Cars are the worst sort of imaginary fake American independence. A car means you can go anywhere you want! Except you’re probably just going to work. I’ve rent cars on occasion to go on vacation trips. It’s still a million times cheaper than owning one. It’s not like Americans have a ton of free time to spend driving wherever they wish. But we think, if we hit the jackpot someday, we could . . .

          I wonder what country you should be deported to (obviously, a real President like Wilson would have done this already.) Spain, you could learn more about Cervantes. Scandinavia, you could enjoy the social cohesion and write against the insular/racist vibe. But when you deport someone, it’s generally out of pure spite, so you send them to the country they’d be most miserable in. That’s a tough one to puzzle out, since you’d be expelled from the most obvious choice. Maybe Australia; I hear it’s kind of like America Lite.

          • I’m afraid the only countries that would take me would be really poor ones. That’s fine, but I’m not keen on being in very hot areas. It’s not the heat; it’s the insects. But I still think that Veracruz would be nice as long as I could be drunk most of the time. A Spanish speaking country would be great because I feel like I would get up to speed on that language fast. French or Italian would probably be okay. German would to, but I’m pretty unhappy with Germany right now. But I’m fine here. And they can’t actually deport me, given that I’m a citizen. They can just throw me in jail. Or kill me.

    • I saw that. I assume that all it means is reduced price monthly passes. We have an okay (by American standards) transit system. But it is clear that taking the bus is a class issue. Providing lower cost fares to veterans will save some money for veterans who already use the bus. But no one is going to decide to use the system because of this. The system just isn’t good or convenient enough for this. As for job listings: of course! We now live in a society in which you are considered scum if you don’t have a job, but having a job is also a privilege. The United States really is exceptional in the way it treats the lower classes.

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