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Berkeley residents say no to new taxes
Oakland Tribune ^ | 4/4/12 | Doug Oakley

Posted on 04/04/2012 6:28:03 PM PDT by SmithL

The people of Berkeley have spoken loud and clear to city leaders: No new taxes.

Even the famously left-leaning city has its limits, apparently. A recent poll of 430 residents likely to vote in the November election told city leaders they won't get the necessary two-thirds approval to raise property taxes to fund any of the $500 million needed to upgrade the city's infrastructure such as roads, swimming pools, storm drains and buildings.

Residents' attitudes about the direction of the local economy weighed heavily on their answers to the $24,000 poll conducted in March, a pollster told City Council members Tuesday evening.

"It doesn't appear we have a package that is an easy win at this point," David Mermin of Lake Research Partners told council members. "In terms of the local economy, 45 percent say it's staying the same, which is a fairly negative view because the economy has been so lousy for the last few years and 17 percent think it is getting worse. Thirty-four percent said the local economy is getting better."

The question that came the closest to the 67 percent needed to pass an increase in property taxes -- which garnered a 59 percent yes vote -- asked if the city should issue bonds worth $25 million to repair storm drains and improve water quality. That idea would raise taxes on a house valued at $350,000 an average of $36 per year for 30 years.

"None of the responses reached the 67 percent threshold," Mermin said. "The main predictor of how people vote is their attitude toward the economy, not their own personal situation, but if they thought the regional economy was getting better they supported bond measures."

The second highest vote at 58 percent was a question asking if the city should tax an average size home of 1,900 square feet $25 a year to raise $1 million to fund homeless services.

A third combination question asking for an increase in taxes of $73 a year on a $350,000 house to fund $50 million in street, storm drain and water quality improvements, got a 56 percent yes vote.

The poll cast a pall on City Council members who were hoping for better.

"I really feel like property taxes are a poison right now, people have just had it," said Mayor Tom Bates. "They're saying 'c'mon. We already have a very high rate here.'"

Bates and Councilman Gordon Wozniak said they would like to see how residents feel about a sales tax on gasoline to fund roads and other projects or a tax on natural gas.

"A carbon (emission) fee could be assessed on petroleum and the dedicated nexus could be street repair and maintenance," Bates said. "I would love to see us test that. Or we could have a carbon (emission) fee on natural gas for home heating with an exemption for poor people."

Councilman Max Anderson said the poll "is not the most encouraging." He and several other councilmembers talked about rephrasing the questions at possibly lower dollar amounts to get the answers they want that might support putting a tax measure on the November ballot.

"We need to improve the questions a little bit so we can elicit the kinds of responses we think people are capable of giving," Anderson said. "There are a lot of variables that could influence the kinds of things that happen in November. Another war could knock the bottom out of everyone's enthusiasm."


TOPICS: Government; Politics/Elections; US: California
KEYWORDS: berkeley; beserkeley; goldenstate; nonewtaxes
Progressives from Beserkeley love taxes,
on somebody else!

1 posted on 04/04/2012 6:28:07 PM PDT by SmithL
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To: SmithL

Tax everyone else.


2 posted on 04/04/2012 6:32:26 PM PDT by allmost
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To: SmithL

Must not be any ‘rich’ folk in Berkley


3 posted on 04/04/2012 6:33:45 PM PDT by griswold3 (Big Government does not tolerate rivals.)
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To: SmithL

4 posted on 04/04/2012 6:33:46 PM PDT by tomkat
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To: SmithL

The well is dry.


5 posted on 04/04/2012 6:34:21 PM PDT by pterional
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To: SmithL

Oh darn, now they’ll never achieve Utopia. Hippies and radicals so sad.


6 posted on 04/04/2012 6:34:44 PM PDT by popdonnelly (Socialism isn't going to work this time, either.)
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To: SmithL
Bates and Councilman Gordon Wozniak said they would like to see how residents feel about a sales tax on gasoline to fund roads and other projects or a tax on natural gas.

"A carbon (emission) fee could be assessed on petroleum and the dedicated nexus could be street repair and maintenance," Bates said. "I would love to see us test that. Or we could have a carbon (emission) fee on natural gas for home heating with an exemption for poor people."

Think they'll fall for it?

7 posted on 04/04/2012 6:35:40 PM PDT by prairiebreeze
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To: SmithL

What part of “when you are out of money you stop trying to borrow and spend” do these idiots not understand?


8 posted on 04/04/2012 6:36:28 PM PDT by dforest
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To: SmithL

“..The second highest vote at 58 percent was a question asking if the city should tax an average size home of 1,900 square feet $25 a year to raise $1 million to fund homeless services...”

::::::::::::::::

I just love it. The self-defeating socialists of Berzerkley. Homeless services....the state is broke because of liberals, Berzerkley is broke because of liberals...and now they want to take care of the welfare bums by stealing wealth from the remainder of those that still work and have jobs....disgusting.


9 posted on 04/04/2012 6:38:26 PM PDT by EagleUSA
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To: SmithL

The “Newspeak” is rich: “We need to improve the questions a little bit so we can elicit the kinds of responses we think people are capable of giving,”. They obviously have no idea people can figure out what they are really saying: “If we say it just the right way they’ll follow along with whatever we want.”


10 posted on 04/04/2012 6:38:40 PM PDT by jdsteel (Give me freedom, not more government.)
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To: SmithL
This is a sign that the socialists in Berkeley have run out of other people's money so the alternative is to use their own — Hah, no deal! Wait, wait...Where have all the rich gone? Where have all the corporations gone? (hint - Arizona, Utah and Nevada) What will Governor Moonbeam do now?
11 posted on 04/04/2012 6:41:57 PM PDT by immadashell
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To: SmithL

I love the way these politicians think, if you don’t get the answer you want, keep asking in different ways until you do! It doesn’t even enter into their pea sized brains that maybe it’s not a tax issue but how we’re spending the money issue.

Also I love the trick they always play with bonds, voters are about as stupid as the politicians in that they never seem to realize that bonds are not free money, they have to be paid back and the bonds act just like a tax only the politicians get 30 years of “tax money” up front and typically burn through it in a year or two (and not for what it was supposed to be used for) so they then come back with .... surprise! another bond proposal to fix what was supposed to be fixed with the last set of bond money!

I’m always hopeful the voters here in CA will eventually learn but sadly I’m always disappointed. Just propose some bond or tax that are “for the children, schools or the environment” and people here fall all over themselves to vote yes on it. And typically the politicians go for the bond measures as they only need 50% of the vote versus taxes that require 67% of the vote.

Oh well, rant off, I view this as only a brief respite from the on going voter insanity in California.


12 posted on 04/04/2012 6:43:23 PM PDT by trapped_in_LA
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To: SmithL
Councilman Max Anderson said the poll "is not the most encouraging." He and several other councilmembers talked about rephrasing the questions at possibly lower dollar amounts to get the answers they want that might support putting a tax measure on the November ballot.

Hey, Councilman Anderson, rather than trying to raise taxes through subterfuge and smoke and mirrors, why don't you find real money by cutting fiscally irresponsible programs?

13 posted on 04/04/2012 6:50:13 PM PDT by immadashell
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To: SmithL
Lets face it, government has become a jobs/pension program for government officials/employees. It is no longer about providing taxpayer services.
14 posted on 04/04/2012 6:52:45 PM PDT by DB
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To: SmithL

Exactly.


15 posted on 04/04/2012 6:54:36 PM PDT by BenLurkin (This is not a statement of fact. It is either opinion or satire; or both)
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To: SmithL
He and several other councilmembers talked about rephrasing the questions at possibly lower dollar amounts to get the answers they want that might support putting a tax measure on the November ballot.

Heh...don't like the result, change the questions until you finally get the result you want. Yeah, that'll work real well...

16 posted on 04/04/2012 6:55:58 PM PDT by Timber Rattler (Just say NO! to RINOS and the GOP-E)
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To: SmithL

Do you realistically think that will stop them. They are creative and will raise water and sewage rates, license fees, etc. You Muppets will pay!


17 posted on 04/04/2012 7:05:46 PM PDT by RetiredTexasVet (There's a pill for just about everything ... except stupid!)
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To: SmithL
they spent $24K to find that out??? no wonder they're broke...
18 posted on 04/04/2012 7:18:33 PM PDT by Chode (American Hedonist - *DTOM* -ww- NO Pity for the LAZY)
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To: SmithL

I think there should be a poll on their continuing to take $24,000 polls.


19 posted on 04/04/2012 7:21:13 PM PDT by NonValueAdded (Steyn: "If Greece has been knocking back the ouzo, we're face down in the vat.")
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To: SmithL

These Berkleyites should be taxed through the nose until there is NOTHING left of their incomes...at all. Then perhaps they’ll have a care.


20 posted on 04/04/2012 10:38:31 PM PDT by onedoug
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To: SmithL

Spending their money on free condoms for illegals and crackheads?


21 posted on 04/04/2012 10:40:53 PM PDT by <1/1,000,000th%
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To: SmithL

Nobody ever asks what they have done with all the money they collected over the years. It’s just gimme, gimme, gimme.


22 posted on 04/04/2012 10:47:13 PM PDT by Pining_4_TX ( The state is the great fiction by which everybody seeks to live at the expense of everybody else. ~)
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To: SmithL
$500 million needed to upgrade the city's infrastructure such as roads, swimming pools, storm drains and buildings.

I love this, how about they shut the pools down? Why is the city funding pools anyway? It is California many houses have pools. And in a city so full of the milk of human kindness I am sure those who have pools would be thrilled to open the gates and let their pool-less neighbors share the wealth.

23 posted on 04/04/2012 11:04:09 PM PDT by Harmless Teddy Bear (Would you sing if someone sucked YOU up the vacuum cleaner hose?)
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