Crash tax craziness

Fiat Punto
This guy’s not even from ‘Merica. Cha-ching!!!
Creative Commons License photo credit: Niccolò Caranti

I still can’t believe that 5 humans, not to mention 5 city council members, think an out-of-towner “crash tax” is a good idea. Apparently in California, unless something is specifically illegal, you can find some group of idiots who’ll think it makes sense. And if you need a group of idiots, who better than a roomful of California politicians?

With the chorus of boos around the region about the “crash tax,” including a threatened tit-for-tat response from Yolo County, I am thinking its days are numbered.

In looking around at other instances of “crash tax” in the news I found out that another municipality undergoing such an experiment is none other than New York, New York. However, in the case of the Big Apple it is merely a charge on at-fault drivers for FDNY response to a car crash. Compared to the City Council’s laugher of charging our neighbors this almost makes sense.

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Tough love from Berkeley professor

Just read “A letter to my students,” a blog post from UC Berkeley professor of public policy Michael O’Hare. In it, prof. O’Hare apologizes to incoming freshmen for the “swindle” that has wrecked California over the last 30 years and exhorts them to start working to change it.

It’s a blog, so he gets away with a generation-sized straw man — at one point literally putting words in the mouth of millions of voters — because it’s such an impassioned piece. He places blame for our current predicament solely on tax-hating voters (even, mind-frakkingly, safe districts!?), ignoring the generation-long dearth of sanity in the Capitol building. I wouldn’t give Abel Maldonado or Darrell Steinberg an extra $1000 even if it was to get them to fight each other to the death. But everything he says about the current situation, especially as it pertains to education, is undoubtedly true and his piece is definitely worth a read.

A letter to my students, by Michael O’Hare, from The Berkeley Blog

State Parks tax measure closer to ballot

at Marshall Gold Discovery Park

Environmental groups were successful in gathering the required signatures to place a new measure on the November ballot which would add an $18 charge to most DMV registrations in order to keep the state parks open.

If approved by a simple majority of state voters on Nov. 2, the measure would increase annual vehicle registration fees for California motorists by $18 a year, and allow any car with California license plates free admission to the state’s 278 parks, which currently charge fees that range from about $6 to $15 per visit.

Of course, tax groups and the Governator will fight such a measure. But though I am no tax lover, to me this actually sounds like a great deal and a major boost to state park attendance, I would think. Of course, that’s because I know that I would really get my money’s worth.

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