Letter to Editor,
At a 4 ½ hour City Council meeting on Saturday, Jan. 30, a majority of the conversation was how to increase taxes on the citizens of Ventura. No real time was spent on how to improve the economic vitality of Ventura. If the local commercial vacancies were occupied by businesses and new local jobs came to town, there would be more property and sales taxes without increasing taxes for Venturans.
There are funds to repair the pier. Also, with water rates increased by 34% over the last 2 years, our water system will be maintained. The City of Ventura has a balanced budget.
Mayor Nasarenko’s 2013 campaign promised to pay for streets, public safety, water resources, attracting new business, parks, schools and city services “By growing the economy… the city must attract and retain businesses that will increase its sales tax base.” When asked about the city role to attract a better economic vitality he said: “The city can bring economic vitality to Ventura by keeping it safe and clean, creating a business-friendly culture at city hall, making sensible, cost-effective loans to businesses, and by promoting trade and tourism both locally and globally”. He said nothing about increasing taxes upon the citizens.
On Jan. 1, 2016, Medicare tax increased from 1.45% to 2.35%. Income Tax rate increased from 35% to 39.6%. Payroll tax increased from 37.4% to 52.2% Capital gain tax increased from 15% to 28%. Dividend tax increased from 15% to 39.6%. Estate taxes increased from 0% to 55% and a Real Estate transaction tax of 3.5% was added.
Now the Council spent $118,000 to hire a consultant to tell the City Council how to educate the Ventura voters so Ventura will vote to tax ourselves another $340 a year per household. It is time to just say no.
As a parent at Pierpont Elementary School, I’m also concerned that as the vacation rentals go up, there’s a decrease in the number of actual families that reside in the Pierpont area. As a result, the attendance of actual residential families has decreased steadily over the years. The school has one of the lowest enrollments I’ve seen in the 5 years I’ve been there. We had a high of 312 kids a few years ago and now we are down to 250 children. I would hate to see this community lose this school in future years due to lack of families in the area.
Regarding “Homeless Prevention Fund”
Homelessness is a symptom of America’s living standards equalizing with the world’s living standards created by “Free Trade Doctrines” (something none of the politicians seem to want to talk about)
Obviously there are other reasons: housing crisis, drugs & alcohol abuse and mental illness, but the loss of good paying blue collar jobs is the crux of the problem… The stratospheric rise in the cost of buying a home as well as renting a home… Never mind the high cost of owning and operating an automobile these days! College..? Forget about it for most high school graduates now due the cost.
The idea that we can “bring (good paying) jobs back” is so much political pablum that the country wants to hear, but the real systemic problem is all of us want “stuff” that is cheap.
Not even Bernie Sanders can end this nightmare.
Dave Gunall, Brookings, Oregon
We hang the petty thieves and appoint the great ones to public office.