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Letter to the Editor: Leave California Without Moving

Californians are subject to the highest State income tax rate, the highest vehicle tax; and the highest gas tax in the nation. Madera County also has one of the highest sales tax rates. This doesn’t even include the added costs of Cap-and-Trade regulation. Schools in California rank 46th in the nation. Our State Social Services are 32% of the budget. In 2015, it was estimated that California was in debt for $1.3 Trillion with 1,015,049 unemployed and 4,063,903 on food stamps. And now, Two Hundred Billion dollars is needed to fund the proposed new healthcare program in our newly designated Sanctuary State.

On April 28, 2017, Governor Brown signed SB1 which increased our gas taxes by approximately 20 cents per gallon and vehicle license fees by an average of $100, effective January 1, 2018.

On October 3, 2017, Governor Brown extended the Cap and Trade Program, which was slated to expire in 2020. The new law extends it until 2030. Cap and Trade will increase gas taxes from .63 to .93 cents per gallon.

A proposed new State tax will tax every residence for tap water.

A State bill will be on the ballot in 2018 to provide a $3.46 billion bond to pay for parks in “disadvantaged communities” which will likely benefit LA County.

In addition to more taxation, your safety could be at risk by these new laws:

A State law is now in effect that will allow parole for any person sentenced to life in prison for murder, rape, child molestation, etc who is 60 years old or older or already spent 25 years in prison.

A new State proposed bill will reduce, from a felony to a misdemeanor, the purposeful intent to transmit the AIDS virus to an unknowing partner.

A new State proposed bill that would further enhance an existing program that, in 2016, paid $29 mil to 80 immigration and legal aid groups that provide free legal aid to undocumented residents. The new bill would provide legal services and representation for undocumented residents for almost all crimes.

Passed: Safe “injection zones” run by the State government to oversee people injecting heroin.

Passed: A new State bill that will require a $10 charge on all residents living in a mobile home park to cover cost for enforcing and prosecuting discrimination violations.

As our $400 billion in unfunded liabilities and debt from public pensions, retiree health care and bonds increase and we brace ourselves for the now estimated $9.5 billion to $10 billion for the Bullet Train, our population of social service dependents in California grows to unprecedented numbers.

While middle income tax payers flee California and move to other states for tax relief, (according to a recent article in the Sacramento Bee, California lost more than 1 million people in net domestic outmigration between 2004 and 2013), those of us left behind will share a larger burden to fund the ever growing social services benefits which currently support 30% of California residents, but whose ranks could easily swell to 40% or 50%. If you live in California expect your taxes to grow and increase in every way possible.

Madera County is most compatible with Northern California counties in terms of needs and lifestyle. Madera County and these Northern California Counties are less populated than those counties in Southern California, the Central Coast and the Bay Area. As a result, Madera County and the Northern Counties have less representatives in the State Assembly and the House of Representatives in Washington, DC. Thus, the more populated counties govern the less populated ones and force the residents in less populated counties like Madera County to pay more than their fair share to support the needs and the lifestyles of the counties with denser populations.

What if you wanted to move out of Madera County to a State where you will be better represented and obligations will be equalized, but you couldn’t? What if you could live in another state with equal representation and lower taxes without even having to move out of Madera County? Twenty-one Counties in California have signed declarations to secede from California and form a 51st state, the State of Jefferson. Five counties in southern Oregon are moving toward joining and Merced, Mariposa and Stanislaus Counties are presently working toward their declarations. Madera County will have an opportunity to become part of this new state as well. The monthly community forum will be featuring speakers and information on the State of Jefferson at future meetings, or for more information go here:

Terre Sparkman


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