NO on Measure J – No Cell Phone Tax!

17 Sep

It’s always good to listen to people who disagree with you.  If you know what they are thinking, you can oftentimes get them to listen to your point of view, and maybe change their minds.

Sometimes it’s a simple matter of correcting misinformation. For example, the promoters of the new cell phone tax, City of Chico Measure J, are telling people the measure will  lower their taxes. Of course this is not true, but if we don’t step out there and make that clear, people may believe it. We need to make sure people know – the tax is being expanded to forms of electronic communication, like cell phones and pagers, that were not legally taxed before.

Something our opponents are telling us here is  they know people feel overtaxed. They are trying to trick people into voting for this tax increase, they’re telling them it will lower their taxes.  We need to tell people the truth – their cell phone bill will go up!

We also need to remind them, the tax can be further expanded – this measure allows the Finance Director to add any new forms of electronic communication that may be introduced to the consumer, at any time in the future, without voter approval. And, by the way, the tax rate can be raised by vote of council, again, without voter approval.

Finally, we need to ” de-bunk the bunk”, to borrow from an old blog-mate (who, by the way, currently receives over $149,000 per year  in pension). Measure J proponents are using the same old tactic – they are holding “public safety” up like a baby and threatening to throw the baby out the window if they don’t get this tax increase. According to Ann Schwab’s argument in favor,  failure to pass this tax increase “will result in reduced police and fire services, road maintenance and park funds. “ She’s  threatening to throw all my babies out the window, I just can’t believe that woman, Good Gravy,  she’s a  mean one.

Of course we need a competent and adequate staff, public safety and otherwise. But there is nothing in the text of this measure that guarantees we’ll get that. The revenues from Measure J will go into the General Fund, from which they can be spent at the discretion of council, on anything from Spirit Flags to the unmet pension obligations left to us by the CalPERS disaster.

It is a simple thing to tear down this measure, because it’s a bad idea. It is a matter of speaking up and telling people what’s happening. Write those letters – I hope you will find the above points helpful, but I’m sure you have plenty to say for yourselves.

5 Responses to “NO on Measure J – No Cell Phone Tax!”

  1. Joseph September 18, 2012 at 12:09 pm #

    You’re right about this.

    It’s really outrageous that the ER doesn’t point any of this out.

    And they don’t like to hear from people who point out their shortcomings.

    Heck, they won’t publish any letter I send them and I can’t even leave comments on their web site.

    I certainly will never subscribe to their paper or pay for full content from their web site.

    And I’ve decide to no longer even visit their web site to view their free content.

    Even for free they are over-priced.

    • Juanita Sumner September 18, 2012 at 1:08 pm #

      Well I want you to know how much I appreciate your contributions here, you keep the conversation going. What’s bad for the ER is good for me!

      • Joseph September 18, 2012 at 4:33 pm #

        I wish you would have been able to write the rebuttal to J instead of Sorensen.

        He should have mentioned what you said about the city council being able to increase the tax without voter approval and also applying it to more services without voter approval.

        Well, I guess it could have been worse. In Sucramento they have a sales tax increase on the ballot and the mayor (the ex-basketball player) was supposed to write the rebuttal but didn’t even bother so apparently there will be no argument against the tax increase.

      • Juanita Sumner September 18, 2012 at 5:37 pm #

        We really need people to get the word out – tell your friends who live in the city of Chico.

        I found out you can buy 40 blank, stamped postcards online for about $14, plus shipping. They come in sheets of four, so they will fit in a printer. But, if a person can’t do that, they can write a message detailing their reasons for voting NO on J and send them out to anybody they can think of with a city of Chico address.

        I’m trying to get a local printer to do lawn signs, in the meantime, I will make my own on some old political signs I’ve saved, not to mention the Ann Schwab sign I found posted illegally in front of my house yesterday.

        I think we should at least make an effort to stop this thing, and I’m going to put whatever I can into it.

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