Perhaps they will call it the McGuire Tax. Unelected officials are pressuring state Sen. Mike McGuire to kill the protective sales tax cap for Marin.
That cap is a covenant between government and the people: Our total sales tax will never exceed 10 percent.
This conversation so far is only within government, as though we the people have no say in whether to give up this covenant.
Many of us manage sales tax via our good incomes or Visa cards.
But sales tax is a racist tax. It puts the tax pain disproportionately onto the most economically vulnerable in our community.
It is harsh also on single parents and seniors trying somehow to remain in Marin.
Property tax is targeted. Income tax is scaled. But no family escapes sales tax. The dollar payments apply equally but the impact is disparate.
Marin approves nearly all taxes on which it votes. And most proposals are worthy.
That is the problem: There will always be more worthy projects, but tens of thousands in Marin already cannot afford them. They are struggling.
Even so, affluent Marinites keep raising the tax bill without thinking about those less fortunate than themselves. Tax promoters feed that thinking: “Oh, but THIS tax is so small it won’t make any difference.”
Yet at a certain point, one more straw breaks a camel’s back.
The aggregate of these supposedly harmless sales taxes now take away about $1 for every $10 that we spend. Do you realize how oppressive that is to the poor?
This is money they do not have available to spare. They must not be asked to pay more.
Fortunately, we have protection: the covenant of the protective sales tax cap.
The proposed McGuire legislation would unlock that cap in Marin (but not Sonoma where the senator lives). The cap can be moved or eliminated without public consent. In communicating only with government officials, Sen. McGuire proceeds in an absence of community engagement, bypassing the people who must pay those taxes.
The Novato City Council, in a 3-2 squeaker, supported the McGuire Tax, topped with this impressive arrogance: They called it a vote “to remove a state procedural obstacle to allow a community conversation.”
That is like President Donald Trump saying he will build a wall with Mexico so the people can choose its color.
The first community conversation, Novato, should be about whether the people are willing to change the protective sales tax cap. It is not a “procedural obstacle.”
Doing it otherwise may, ironically, cause Marin’s generous voters to start voting down new taxes. Note that most recent taxes passed on razor-thin margins. The McGuire Tax may shift enough voters.
San Rafael exhibited greater wisdom, declining to presently support it. The entire county should follow this leadership, and then reject the McGuire Tax.
Yachts may produce only a small wake, but to the person barely keeping their nose above the water line, small wakes make big differences.
Can Marin be so tone deaf as to complain how the high cost of living makes it impossible for people to afford housing but at the same time sling yet another arrow into tens of thousands of our poorest neighbors?
Think not in terms of your First World problem of how well you could manage losing the sales tax cap. Think about what it means to those struggling just to put bread on the table.
Or will Sen. McGuire tell them to eat cake?
Randy Warren is a San Rafael lawyer. He was a candidate for San Rafael City Council in 2013.
Editor's Note: Here is the voting score so far for the TAM TAX scam
The Board of Supervisors (Dennis Rodoni was not seated yet) and the TAM Commissioners unanimously approved lifting the sales tax cap.
In San Rafael it was defeated 4-1 with Mayor Phillips for approving.
Fairfax was 4-1 for eliminating the sale tax cap :Renee Goddard, John Reed, David Weinsoff, Peter Lacques approved and Barbara Coler opposed.
Novato vote 3-2 for in favor. Josh Fryday, Denise Athas, and Eric Lucan voted for increasing the sales tax cap and Pam Drew and Pat Eklund opposed the measure.
TAM commissioners approved unanimously
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