OPINION: Walters: Local officials avoid ‘p-word’ as they push new taxes

While many were looking to see which candidates for state offices would advance beyond the June primary election this week, the California Taxpayers Association counted 98 proposals to raise taxes directly, or indirectly by issuance of bonds. Dan Walters, of CALmatters, argues that this is only a fraction of what is to come this November as tax proposals tend to be better received in general elections, where there is usually a more tax-friendly turnout. In the course of raising taxes for popular government services, such as funding for fire and police departments, many officials have been conveniently leaving out the true cause for such tax increases – rising costs for public employee pensions. One legislative bill in particular, Senate Bill 958, would exempt the Davis Unified School District’s employees from paying a $620 per year parcel tax. Walters argues that this could set a dangerous precedent, where government employees exempt themselves from paying the very taxes that offer them higher salaries and better benefits, leaving it to the rest of us to foot the bill.

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