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Editorial Ballot Recommendation:

  • No On Property Tax Hike Measure E

    (March 3, 2002, web posted 5:00 p.m.) -- recommendation in March 5, 2002 election:

    No on Prop. E (property tax increase)

    [ advised the Yes on E committee of our forthcoming editorial at roughly 4:45 p.m. and invited their email response. We will promptly post it when received, so check back on this page and click "refresh" or "reload".]

    Prop. E is an attempted property tax hike forced on the ballot by four members of LB's Community College Board of Trustees over the courageous dissent of fellow Trustee Darwin Thorpe.

    Mr. Thorpe deserves an award for his principled dissent on this badly written property tax raising measure.

    The other incumbents, including former LB Mayor Tom Clark (who tried to stop Howard Jarvis' homesaving Prop 13 in 1978), are attempting to use a loophole drilled into Prop 13 by Prop. 39 (narrowly enacted after a deceptive campaign) letting government school entities raise property taxes with only 55% voter approval (instead of Prop 13's original 2/3 voter requirement).

    Prop E is a money grab pure and simple. The slick mailing we just received from its supporters doesn't even mention the word "tax."

    That alone, we believe, justifies a "no" vote. If they expect voters to approve a tax hike, they should say so without trying to camouflage the truth.

    Let's be clear: LB homeowners have every right to vote "no" on E to protect their property from an additional property tax for the next thirty years.

    Prop E resulted from a machine style vote by four incumbent Trustees who ganged up in an 11th hour maneuver to ram it onto the ballot. They did so without inviting the type of serious public discussion beforehand that one would expect if LBCC meant to do more than fatten its budgets.

    Don't be fooled by pro-tax propaganda claiming the money could only be used for capital improvements. That's half true; yes, the new tax money is limited to capital improvements, but handing them that money effectively frees up existing money for spending on other things...and that won't be subject to the illusory oversights tacked onto the measure for public consumption. .

    One thing is certain: Prop E guarantees your home will be saddled with another property tax hike. It exploits a loophole that reduced homeowner protections in Howard Jarvis' original Prop 13.

    Now, it's our turn. As Mr. Jarvis would say, "Send them a message."

    Vote No on E.

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