Budget reality: tax and slash

We must respectfully disagree with Assemblyman Doug LaMalfa’s blast at the state Senate’s proposal to slash $50 million from the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection as a way to help balance the state’s severely bleeding budget. To make up for the cut, landowners on property prone to fire—state responsibility areas—would be levied a yearly parcel fee of $60 per acre for land with a habitable structure and $20 per for unimproved acres. This makes sense to us. If Republicans like LaMalfa are calling for reduced state spending without tax increases to balance the budget, then let those who most benefit from such services pay for them.

You can’t reduce spending or slash taxes without suffering a loss of services.

LaMalfa blames “big-city liberals from Los Angeles and San Francisco who want us, the people of the Northstate, to fund their spending addiction.” Hogwash. Why should an urban dweller subsidize fire protection for property owners who choose to build their homes in the wilderness?

The reality is that the only way to reduce the budget deficit is by reducing spending and increasing or shifting taxes. This is not an either/or proposition. Spending must be reduced, taxes increased and in some cases funding shifted. Painful decisions must be made. That’s why we have legislators.