Sunday, August 31, 2014
YOLO COUNTY NEWS
99 CENTS

Bob Dunning: A tax is a tax no matter how small

BobDunning2W

By
From page A2 | February 14, 2014 |

PENNIES FROM HEAVEN … for most of Tuesday night’s meeting, Davis City Council members seemed nearly unanimous in their resolve to raise $5.1 million — or at least attempt to raise $5.1 million — by putting a measure on the June 3 ballot to increase the local sales tax by three-fourths of a penny … then, along about midnight, at the urging of Councilman Brett Lee, they took a two-minute bathroom break and all five of them disappeared behind the magic doors where only council members are allowed to tread …

Oddly, when they returned, they had lowered their sights to a mere half-penny tax increase and passed it faster than you can say “potholes on Pole Line” … I don’t know what they were drinking back there during their short break, but it wasn’t Sacramento River water …

No matter how you slice it, though, they left $1.7 million on the table in the mistaken belief that lowering the ante by one-quarter cent would make it bulletproof at the ballot box … the one-quarter-cent reduction will not win them any additional “yes” votes in June, just as leaving it at three-quarters of a cent would not have increased the number of “no” votes … put simply, those in the community who were opposed to three-quarters will remain opposed to the new rate as well …

BE MINE, VALENTINE … the friendly note came home from one of our cherished elementary school teachers: “The kids would like to exchange valentines on Friday,” it began cheerily … “If you do plan on sending valentines, please send a valentine for all 32 students in the classroom.” … now wait a minute … if there are 32 kids in the classroom, shouldn’t our student be bringing 31 valentines? … or do you send one to yourself so your own feelings don’t get hurt? …

This everyone-gets-a-valentine request is an extension of the Davis Rule that every kid gets a trophy and every goal kicked or basket made or touchdown scored is greeted with enthusiasm by everyone, even if it was a kid on the other team who scored …

But just imagine what a better world it would be if we had the every-kid-gets-a-valentine rule long ago … what if little Richard Nixon had received 32 valentines from his fifth-grade classmates at East Whittier Elementary School instead of coming home empty-handed?… no Watergate, for sure …

SPEAKING OF ST. VALENTINE’S DAY … 40 years ago today a boy named Ted, my son, was born with a heart of gold … and in all the years that have passed since that miraculous moment, my love and admiration for him has grown each day, even as I find it impossible to fathom that a child of mine could possibly have reached such a milestone … he’s a son and a father and a husband and a big brother to more kids than I can count … may he have 40 more years and 40 more after that … and may I be there to celebrate each one …

IS THERE A PROOFREADER IN THE HOUSE? … my friend Chris says that “while perusing your Sunday morning column about water rates, I was gobsmacked by the sentence ‘Citing a crowed ballot, however, is the chicken’s way to keep this measure from the people.’ ” … adds Chris: “I’m not sure whether you or the proofreader were trying to get two bird references into one sentence.” … Chris, as much as I hate to see anyone get gobsmacked so early in the day, I did it on purpose to get you out of bed on Sunday morning in time to get to Mass … you were being God-smacked …

— Reach Bob Dunning at bdunning@davisenterprise.net

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