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|State of California||June 8, 2010 Election|
PEACE, JUSTICE, AND TAX POLICY
By Mark L. Stebbins, SrCandidate for State Board of Equalization; District 2; Democratic Party
This information is provided by the candidate
QUOTES RUN THROUGH MY MIND AS I CONTEMPLATE OUR CURRENT SITUATION"Justice in the cupboard" "Guns and butter' "He who pays the Piper calls the tune" "Once I built a railroad now it's done, Buddy can you spare a dime" no,"I'm on the same train two cars back"
Economic famine clarifies the cost of war and the abundance of injustice. Center stage is the issue, undebated since the 1960's, of tax policy. Slogans abound: Tax and spend liberals "Read my lips, no new taxes". A "Tea Party" energized by healthcare proposals and passage, adapts the old revolutionary cry to "No taxation with representation". Governments locally and the State levels seek to continue services in an adaptation of the line from "The Rime of the Ancient Mariner" "Taxes, Taxes, everywhere, and all the boards did shrink.." The roots of peace and justice must be a coherent tax policy: a debate to form a consensus on that policy is long overdue. Every taxing authority needs to open this debate as rapidly as possible. Peace and justice should ask for open disclosure of all revenues including fees in an effort to adopt a policy detailing where we ought to go. Budget priorities established without marking who pays and how much for overall government services promote injustice. Is it our philosphy that wealth (substituting for nobility) obligates? If so, how do we define the wealth that we tax?
One of the arguments for the passage of California's Proposition 13 related to the rise in value of property. Much new wealth was created and middle class people suddenly became the wealthy who was obligated. Now the collapse of property values drops drastically, the revenue governments depended on.
Tax policy must consider the redefinition of wealth that current economic realities have thrust upon us.
One tool available to California residents in the California State Board of Equalization. Established by constitutional amendment in 1879, it is the only elected tax appeal board in the nation. Originally designed to ensure fairness of property taxes of multi county owners (railroad, etc) it now administer sales and exercise taxes and hears appeals of all state tax decisions. It might of itself stir the debate so badly needed to establish a just future.
Mark L Stebbins
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