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Island Talkback: Fear and ignorance

Submitted by on 1, December 3, 2010 – 12:01 am3 Comments

By Charles Liuson

The Alameda blogosphere and editorials have started to heat up again. The “SunCal Slate” election headlines have been replaced with the “Parcel Tax” boogeyman. This is not surprising, as the Measure H parcel tax elicited a lawsuit from property owners. Recall that APLUS Measure E supporters were portrayed in a YouTube video as racists.

Once again, opponents of the parcel tax are throwing the proverbial kitchen sink in an effort to confuse the discussion. This is a smart tactic, as opponents can make illogical assertions to tar and feather the parcel tax. For instance, someone suggested that parents of school kids pay AUSD a fee to make it fair for taxpayers without kids. This suggestion shows the ignorance of the questioner, as AUSD is not allowed to charge tuition for kids to attend public schools. Alameda Unified is only legally allowed to raise funds either through parcel taxes or school bonds. Our Alameda public schools were established to educate the next generation of Alamedans, Californians and Americans.

Winston Churchill said “A lie gets halfway around the world before the truth has a chance to get its pants on.” There will be numerous lies and arguments that parcel tax opponents will continue to put forth from their kitchen sink of ideas: bloated bureaucracy, regressive unfair tax, East Alameda versus West. The tactic is meant to discourage readers and elicit a knee-jerk NO vote.

As reported in the news, the parcel tax has the support of the West Alameda Business Association, the president of the Greater Alameda Business Association,and the Alameda Business Alliance. GABA president Harry Hartman said: “The proposal that you’ve put forward today is a fair and good proposal that most business owners are going to get behind.”

Alameda voters have a choice in March 2011. You could give in to fear and the propagation of rumors. Don’t fall for that. Vote YES for education, and the freedom and opportunities that accompanies it.


  • Adam_Gillitt says:

    I am not sure what you are trying to accomplish with this editorial other than to reinforce the title of 'Fear and Ignorance.'

    If this is intended to be a response to my editorial, you are doing nothing to advance the discussion other than to insult me and repeat the mantra "Schools are important! We must have whatever the schools want at all costs!" My point was to foster a discussion as to why this system is as it stands now, and if it is just and fair.

    It's great that this parcel tax has the support of so many big businesses, Mr. Liuson. But you don't say why that is: because of a cap so that they won't have to pay their fair share. That's why Harry Hartman says most business owners will get behind it.

    The only fear and rumor propagation is coming from you, and whomever you're speaking for. Putting words in other people's mouths and calling them someone else's dirty tactics makes for good community division skills, but not any that I will be party to.

  • EdHirshberg says:

    This internet posting got all the way around the world, not just half way before I crawled out of bed. Consider the price of this parcel tax. $320 for a 1000 foot house, $640 for a 2000 foot house $960 for a 3000 foot house $1280 for a 4000 foot house. In the Gold Coast there are houses as large as 7000 feet. They would pay a tax of $2240. I can already hear the argument that they can afford it. Some of the owners can't. Some have actually sought loans from our firm to pay their taxes as it is. We had to decline the loans because they were retired and had no way to increase their income to repay the loan. Then consider the typical two story commercial building on a 5000 s.f. lot. Under measures A and H the owner would pay $939 under the new measure the owner would pay $3200. This is typical of the kind of increase that Park and Webster Street owners are facing. I find it stunning that WABA supports a tax that will result in the garrotting of their members. Perhaps they should ask their board to explain. At least the Park Street Merchants are refusing to go down with out a fight. If you want to help fight this disaster, let me know.

  • tc_jackson says:

    Ed – weren't you going on about how unfair the structure of the previous tax was and that was why the last parcel tax should be voted down?

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