Thursday, April 17, 2014
YOLO COUNTY NEWS
99 CENTS

Bob Dunning: Cash-strapped cities can tax us to death

BobDunning2W

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From page A2 | December 27, 2013 | 9 Comments

TAX THOSE CYCLISTS … thanks to Eric in North Davis I’ve been reading about a proposal in Chicago to institute a $25-per-year cycling tax … turns out there have been similar proposals this year in Georgia, Oregon, Washington and Vermont … given that virtually every city in America is cash-strapped, it’s probably not the last time we’re going to see such proposals …

Considering Davis has more bicycles than people, we could be next … it’s a proposal, obviously, that has considerable merit … after all, we build all those expensive bike lanes for our cycling friends that we should consider turning into bicycling’s version of toll roads … just install meters every few hundred yards or so as part of the ultimate pay-as-you-go plan … then again, if cyclists won’t stop for stop signs, what makes us think they’ll stop to feed the meter? … still, it may be worth a try, and if it works, we shouldn’t stop there …

How about a tennis tax to pay for all those public courts we let people use for free? … let’s license tennis players just like we license cars … every time a tennis racket gets sold in town, slap a five-dollar surcharge onto the purchase price … next, of course, we’ll need a walking tax to pay for our miles and miles of sidewalks, a dog tax to pay for the dog park and a soccer tax to pay for all those fields of green, green grass … if you want to have a loud party on Saturday night that keeps all the neighbors up past their bedtime and uses every available parking spot in the neighborhood, you’ll have to pay a decibel tax …

There are a million ways to get this thing done and heaven knows we need the cash … clearly, it’s an idea that’s ready for action …

NAME THAT STREET … Judy on the Westside says waiting until a person dies before naming a street after them will not necessarily solve all our problems … “Remember the Sutter dust-up?” she asks … “And the endless council and public comment hours devoted to it?” … ah yes, you’d have thought the fate of the free world was at stake …

I think the proposal to just pull names out of the phone book is probably the safest way to go … it’s fair, non-discriminatory and certain to provide an accurate reflection of the town’s diversity … much better than naming streets in The Cannery after varieties of tomatoes, as one proposal demands … Beefsteak Boulevard? … Early Girl Avenue? … we can do better …

PARCEL THIS … I just love UPS’ excuses for not getting a number of packages under the tree in time for Christmas … basically, we heard, it was the high volume of packages combined with some nasty weather, which is completely forgivable … I mean, who would have imagined people sending packages to other people at Christmastime? … and, as we all know, the temperature in December across this great land of ours is generally in the 80s and 90s with calm winds and little or no precipitation … so, the next time you want to send a fruitcake to grandma in North Dakota, get on a plane and deliver it yourself …

AGE DISCRIMINATION … according to the Thursday edition of this very newspaper, teen drivers will be among those affected by a new California law come Jan. 1 … “SB 194 will prohibit a person who is under 18 years of age from using an electronic device to write, send or read a text-based communication while driving, even if it is equipped with a hands-free device … an excellent new law, to be sure … the only problem with it is the age … it should prohibit “any person under 118 years of age” from using such devices while driving …

— Reach Bob Dunning at bdunning@davisenterprise.net

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Discussion | 9 comments

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  • December 27, 2013 - 8:44 am

    Bob, don't ever give liberals any ideas on things they can tax. I'm sure once City Hall reads your column the gears will start churning. Liberals love to tax.

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  • SteveDecember 27, 2013 - 10:22 am

    Tax is coming - how else is the city getting their $5 million deficit off their books?

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  • December 27, 2013 - 11:08 am

    Like I said, there ain't a tax that any liberal wouldn't embrace.

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  • greg johnsonDecember 27, 2013 - 7:36 pm

    That 5 million dollar figure rings a bell. Oh yeah, that was the cost of updating the Manor pool at Slide Hill Park. When I saw it after the work was done, I was absolutely blown away at how similar it looked (they fixed a leak, put a roof on the locker rooms, and combined the small pools). Wow, it is amazing what 5 mil in government money can buy these days!!

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  • SteveDecember 28, 2013 - 6:26 am

    Really? You cite something that happened 6 years ago, before the recession, under a different council as reason that the city's current deficit is due to overspending?

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  • greg johnsonDecember 28, 2013 - 8:52 am

    What I'm citing is an example of how governments have no respect for taxpayers money because they feel that they can always get more. At all levels, governments will never believe they have enough.

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  • SteveDecember 30, 2013 - 7:57 am

    The city has worked hard this year to get its finances in order, maybe you ought to pay better attention rather than jumping to conclusions.

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  • New Tax IdeaDecember 27, 2013 - 10:26 am

    Let's tax people who write bad, angry comments.

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  • MLDecember 27, 2013 - 2:01 pm

    Here is a tax liberals would probably fight: taxing money wired out of the country, specifically to Mexico and Central / South America. We know that we have millions of illegal (undocumented?) immigrants who earn money off the books. So while many liberals claim that these individuals are poor, according to the Mexican Central Bank, remittances to Mexico stabilized at $21.27 Billion in 2010. A 10% or 15% tax sure wouldn't hurt our balance sheets. However, despite the large numbers and logic, this is one tax the liberals will squeel about to no end.

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