2011-02-25 / Editorials

Your turn to sound off on taxes

The recent battle between Democratic and Republican lawmakers in Sacramento over the proposed tax extension is borne of a long and downright ugly past. Most agree it began when the state couldn’t resist spending the millions of dollars that poured into California’s coffers thanks to the dot-com bonanza of the late ’90s. The state unwisely spent beyond its means and never changed course.

Fast-forward through the most financially disastrous decade since the Great Depression, and California lawmakers are left to govern a dead-broke state that needs another $25 billion in cuts to balance the budget.

Both sides of the aisle want something. The Dems want the GOP to agree to let voters decide through a ballot measure whether to extend higher taxes and other fees for five years. The GOP wants the Dems to get serious about real budget cuts and to streamline the state’s outrageously oppressive business regulations.

Caught in the middle of the political wrangling are those who will bear the brunt of the $25 billion in budget cuts: the recipients of the state’s health, education and welfare services.

School officials here in Simi Valley and throughout the state are lobbying state lawmakers to put the initiative on the ballot.

State Sen. Tony Strickland (R-Simi Valley) says he does not support the tax extension and cites a poll that shows most Californians agree with him. Assemblymember Jeff Gorell (RWestlake Village) opposes the extension also.

It’s unknown if the Legislature can make enough progress in the coming weeks to move forward with the initiative. If the plan doesn’t get the support it needs, chances are it will be dead at least until the fall.

We want to know whether you, our readers, support the tax extension initiative.

Please go online to www.theacornonline.com and cast your vote in our readers’ poll: “Do you favor a ballot initiative calling for a vote on the state tax extension?”

Let’s hear it, Simi Valley. On which side of the aisle do you stand?

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