Monday, October 11, 2010

The California ballot: Prop 21

One of the irritating things about modern tax policy is how regressive it is -- rather than falling upon the rich, as property and income taxes do, modern taxes fall disproportionately upon the poor. The poor pay a larger percentage of their income as sales taxes than the rich do, for example, because the rich invest their money (tax-free in many cases) while the poor must spend (and be taxed on) every dime they earn just to survive.

Prop 21 continues this modern tradition. This establishes a $18 vehicle registration surcharge which will raise approximately $500M for the state's parks system, and in exchange Californians would be given free admission to the state's parks. The $18 surcharge for parks and recreation established by Prop 21 would be pocket change for me, but would be several hours of work (after taxes) for someone making minimum wage.

Still, with Prop 13 still fairly popular and not about to be repealed, what choice is there? Without more money, the California parks system, already in disrepair and crumbling for lack of money, is going to have to close altogether. Given that, I'm choosing the lesser of two evils and voting for Prop 21. Despite its clear issues -- such as not being inflation-adjusted so parks will be starved of money in the future -- it's still better than the alternative.

-- Badtux the Lesser-of-two-evils Penguin


  1. We got 40 smacks tacked on to our registrations and going up another 10 this year. The little guy pays as much as the super rich bastards. Pissed me off so bad and don't get anything for it. I still gotta pay to get into state parks which I refuse to do. I own the BLM and they don't charge. We camp there whenever possible.

  2. I'd be more inclined to vote for Prop 21 if the money went to something more "car" related such as road infrastructure instead of parks.

  3. Is Prop 13 really that popular? What with all the damage it has done to CA, somebody should try to repeal it and now is as good a time as any.


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