Public Comment

Letters to the Editor

Wednesday June 15, 2011 - 11:30:00 AM

What Part of “It’s About the Voters” Don’t You Understand? End Sales Tax Loophole; Republicans in Reverse 

What Part of “It’s About the Voters” Don’t You Understand? 

Regarding Dr. Elmer Grossman’s letter of June 8 replying to my commentary of June 1, let me clarify. I said that The City’s definition of “demolition” and the federal criteria for rehabilitation are irrelevant with respect to Measure FF – because most voters are totally unaware of these. It is the ballot language upon which voters base their decisions about ballot measures. 

I did not say that “the majority of the old 1923 building would survive”; I said that the majority of the 1923 building “is intact”. The façade, however, had already been altered in the 1970s. The Todd Jersey plan would partially restore it. 

One can nit-pick until the cows come home, but the voters were deceived in 2008 about the Library Board’s plans to demolish the South and West Branch libraries. I believe this was done deliberately and premeditatedly to secure funding for demolitions and brand new libraries that the voters would not have approved if they had been told the truth.\ 

Gail Garcia 

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End Sales Tax Loophole 

As an active member of my community and local small business owner, I am greatly concerned about the giant loophole that allows out-of-state online retailers to avoid following California’s tax code. This tax avoidance costs our local governments and communities millions of dollars per year, and puts our local economies at a severe disadvantage. 

The tax loophole allows the online giants to avoid collecting sales tax from California customers. However, every law-abiding local business like Mike’s Bikes charges California sales tax, putting them at up to a 10% price disadvantage. These local businesses provide local service, employ local workers and support the local economy, yet the California tax code inexplicably favors the out-of-state behemoths by allowing them this price advantage. It’s time to put an end to the loophole that favors out-of-state online retailers, encourages the siphoning of money out of our communities, and increases the strain on our already strapped local governments. It’s time for the outof- state retailers to pay their fair share, and I believe that Assembly Bill 153 and Assembly Bill 155 are a great start. 

Ken Martin, Founder, Mike's Bikes, San Rafael 

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Republicans in Reverse 

The Republican 2012 presidential campaign swings into high gear. Mitt (my health care plan was not the inspiration for Obamacare) Romney has thrown his hat into the ring of GOP presidential contenders. As has Rick (abortion is the issue) Santorum R-PA. Perennial Republican politician Newt (always seeking power) Gingrich is running again for the GOP top spot. 

Barack Obama won North Carolina through a strong turnout of early voters. 

So, what have N.C. Republicans done to negate this happening again - passed a measure limiting early voting. Jim Crow lives on in No. Carolina. Florida and Georgia have also passed measures to restrict early voting. 

Give the GOP a high-five for their on-going voter suppression and discrimination.

Ron Lowe