Los Angeles County officials are doing what they always do when county-sponsored tax increases are on the ballot —using your tax dollars to campaign for the tax hike under the fiction that they are just trying to educate voters.
The county fire department’s “impartial” slideshow on Measure FD, the property tax increase on the March ballot, includes little more than campaign talking points written by political consultants to encourage a “yes” vote. There isn’t a single word about how the tax would increase housing costs and retail prices during the midst of an affordability crisis.
The “educational” materials also fail to mention that the tax has no expiration date, lacks an impartial appeals process and has a senior exemption that is narrower than most.
This shouldn’t be taken as criticism of the firefighters and paramedics who put their lives on the line every day to protect us all. Firefighting and paramedic services are vital, and require tax dollars. This doesn’t mean, however, that every new tax is necessary, nor that every tax increase supported by the Fire Department is a good idea.
After studying the pros and the cons, the California Taxpayers Association opposes Measure FD.
Measure FD would make it more expensive to buy or rent a home or business. It also would increase the cost of utilities, including electricity, telephone and Internet service. Those are deal-breakers. Adding to the financial strain of people living here, especially those already teetering on the edge of homelessness, would be irresponsible.
There are many other problems with this poorly drafted measure that was rushed onto the ballot without fully being vetted. For example, Measure FD would allow the fire chief to develop procedures for the senior exemption and the appeals process, a huge conflict of interest.