Editorial: Prop 13 just money down the drain
Reading the title of Proposition 13 (Water Bond) on the March ballot, and its retinue of supporters, one would think it is peaches and cream. Unfortunately, the contrary is more accurate. A better definition would be omnibus pork barrel. Please take the time to read it. Many of the voting public are being asked to subsidize special interests with no direct benefits to themselves.
It is easy to see why the electorate is becoming disenchanted with the political process. Buried within the language, hundreds of millions of dollars are designated to a chosen few. One might label it a Five Star overreach.
Grants of many millions of your hard-earned money, free dollars to someone, will be awarded. They should be based on need. They are not. Why should the North subsidize San Joaquin Valley and Southern California water interests? One subsection alone (Chapter 7, Article 3, Section 79112.2) awards $35.5 million in grants to four municipalities in the San Joaquin Valley. No such grants are awarded to any municipalities in Placer, El Dorado, Calaveras, Amador, Alpine, or Mono counties. Equitable? You be the judge.
Are bond proceeds the methodology to fund special interests? I think not. To have the North subsidize studies in Southern California via bond proceeds is a misuse of public funds, and should not be tolerated. Chapter 7, Article 5, Sections 79148.7 and 79148.15 provide $7 million in studies to the city of Huntington Beach and the San Diego County Water Authority. There are many others. What about the needs of the rest of the state? Again, you be the judge.
Some proponents of this measure are contending that when enacted, it will provide 1,000,000 acre-feet of additional water during dry periods. If accurate, this measure is either a guise to usurp the North’s and San Francisco Bay Area’s fresh water supply or that argument is pure hype, being used to market this proposition to the South. Either way, the voters of our state, on the side of caution, would be well served to summarily reject this proposal. Something is askance.
Each of the 80 Assembly Districts in our state pays 1/80th of the total cost of the measure, including interest. This proposition has a cash outlay of close to $2,000,000,000. Each Assembly District’s proportionate share is $25,000,000 plus interest. The interest component of the debt is comparable to the principal component. In a nutshell, each Assembly District has approximately a $50,000,000 liability.
Why should the voters in an Assembly District that has no specific benefit stipulated in the proposition be expected to subsidize those that do? Assembly District #4 (all of Placer, El Dorado, Amador, Calaveras, Alpine and Mono counties) is such a district. The playing field is not level. A harsh critic might view this proposal as a classic example of the legal financial rape and pillage of a portion of the electorate.
Please vote “No!” It gobbles!
Stephen A. Macola
4th Assembly District
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