20 Aug 2014
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Letter to the Editor: Beware of Measure A

Half Moon Bay resident cautions voters to not be misled by promises of more services with San Mateo County sales tax increase measure.

Letter to the Editor: Beware of Measure A

California’s high unemployment is no accident.

A recent nationwide study revealed that the probability that the sales tax increases unemployment is extraordinarily high. The best estimate is that California’s high sales tax accounts for 20% of the state’s unemployment.

The sales tax is a very efficient job-killing machine.

If Measure A passes, all county residents will pay more when they buy a new or used car — no matter where in California it’s purchased.

Some county employees can retire in their early 50s with a pension equal to 100% of their salary paid for life. Many more county employees can retire at 65 with this 100% pension. They also receive full social security pensions and some medical benefits.

These are VERY expensive benefits.

According to the San Mateo County 2012-13 budget, the county pays an average of $30,196 per employee just for pensions and $54,387 per employee just for their benefit package. The county spends an incredible $268 million on employee benefits.

Pension reform getting employees to pay more for these expensive benefits would save much more money than this tax increase would generate.

Don’t be misled by promises of more services. The county’s budget problems have been created by the excessive burden of benefits, and there will be no solution until taxpayers are relieved of this burden.

We don’t need a new tax and we don’t need higher unemployment.

Voting against this economy-damaging tax increase sends a message to the politicians to rein in the high cost of pensions and benefits now.

— George Gipe, Half Moon Bay resident

George W. Gipe is a published author on taxation. In "Is California Self-Destructing?" Gipe investigates unemployment in California and compares it to unemployment in the nation and to other states.

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