Guest View: We cannot afford higher taxes, fees

Referring to the Public Notice you published in today’s edition about the proposed tax/fee increases by county board, please find attached my memo written while serving on two chambers’ (Gilroy and Hollister) Government Review Committees about the taxation power in the wake of the California Supreme Court’s decision holding that a government imposed fee was not a tax, and thus taxpayers in California lacked constitutional protections from government fees which we had against government taxes. Well, as you know the U.S. Supreme Court later ruled just the opposite: a government imposed fee is a tax. But Californians were stuck with our Supreme Court’s interpretation, and my predictions in my memo have come true.

Well, then we had Prop. 218, then we had the Great Depression of 2008, as Bankruptcy Judge Dennis Montali said in U.S.B.C. in San Francisco last week describing life as he’s seen it. Well, the point is, some people have reached the tipping point, gone bust, filed BK, fled California, or all of the above.

Will you please ask your Editorial Board if it’s true that the definition of insanity is doing the same thing and expecting a different outcome: tax & spend by government will (A) get us deeper into the hole, or (B) get us out of the hole? Or ask them anyway you want to, but I feel like we’re in a circular firing squad, not willing to change tactics even though we’ve witnessed the results repeatedly ad infinitum.

In my small business practice, mainly debtor-creditor, both state and federal, I see the results of confiscatory taxes/fees and crucifying regulations. Adding more taxes/fees and regulations to “fix” what ails us is suicide.

If what our government is doing is making this county fifth-worst in the USA, and they keep doing it to us, were already the Small Business Killing Fields, and we’ve given all the blood there is to give.

So, we need a change of public policy, not the same old, same old, and if our current bunch of local leaders aren’t going to change their policy of tax&spend lunacy, then we need to replace them with those who will, as Jefferson said we’ve the right to do in the Declaration. There’s a direct correlation between tax burdens and small business insolvency. We cannot survive in the toxic mix of federal, state and local tax miasma, combined with a regulatory crucifixion.

We’re in a depression, and we cannot afford higher taxes/fees. So, I believe that we ought to stop the suicide policy, and shrink the government, beginning locally. If I have to write to the chairman of the board in three chairmanship positions (BOS, COG, AMBAG), there is something terribly wrong. If I have levels of government governing me for which I’ve never given my consent, directly or indirectly, e.g., COG, AMBAG, etc., etc., all other joint power authorities, there is something terribly wrong.

If the government cannot live on the money it takes from me now, at levels which would make George III look like Santa Claus, then the government is too big. For the public hearing at the BOS, I propose we not increase any taxes/fees, but instead, start terminating things that ought to be confined to the private sector. For example, transportation of passengers.

After they privatize all the nationalized things they are doing, then can come back to me and ask me for more taxes/fees.

Why are we transferring “grants” which are really our taxes coming back to us (after Sacto & D.C. rake off 90 percent) for redistribution to others? Instead of the government deciding who gets charity, subsidies, etc., why not let that be done by the churches and wealthy philantropists? Charity redistribution of our taxes/fees is just Robinhood or as it is taught in law school, conversion, the tort.

Our local leaders would not need to take more of our money, destroy more small businesses, if they just stopped all their radical socialist wastefulness. Government involvement ruined orthodox mortgage business, and created the Depression we’re mired in now. So, more government is not what we need.

We need less government, lower taxes/fees, and less regulation. If the local elected leaders cannot reform, then we must remove them and replace them ASAP.

Will you ask your Editorial Board if they’ll join me at the podium before the BOS and make this plea for sanity and reform?

Joseph P. Thompson, Tres Pinos

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