June 2, 2006

Editorial:

Don’t Be Fooled by Prop. 81

Proposition 81: California Reading and Literacy Improvement and Public Library Construction Renovation Bond Act of 2006.

This Proposition is little tricky. This Proposition asks that the voters approve a $600 million bond sell off which would then be paid by through the State General Fund. It doesn’t sound like a tax but it is. The revenues will come primarily from state personal and corporate incomes taxes and the state sales tax. If there is insufficient dollars in the General Fund this means that our personal and corporate taxes as well as the state sales tax.

There is a double whammy with this Proposition, local cities will have to come up with 35% of the cost to build or improve the local library. Where will the city get the money to pay for their 35% of the cost – through a bump in the local sales tax! Also, none of the $600 million can be used operating cost. This is something National City is experiencing right now as they are trying to pass a local city tax to keep their library open.

On top of this the title of the Proposition is misleading. While they call it the Reading and Literacy Improvement and the ballot statement argues the need to fight illiteracy, not a single penny can be used to buy books or other library materials, nor pay salaries to operate the facilities.

What makes this Proposition tricky is that there is a need to improve older libraries and for new libraries in places San Ysidro and the ongoing struggle for San Diego to build their new downtown library.

The need is there but this Proposition only adds more cost to the taxpayers not only today but for the future. The Politicians need to find a better way to fund the construction of libraries than selling more Bonds and taxing the people. They are tired of being gouged at the gas pump, at the grocery store, and by the utility companies. Now you want them to pay more in taxes for a new library, enough already.

We recommend a NO Vote on Prop. 81

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