When most people think about voting, they think that their vote for president is the most important vote they can give.
Let me tell you: those people are wrong. In California, your vote for president doesn’t mean a whole lot. But your vote in this year’s election is even more important than your vote in 2016. California passes so many bad laws that as a business community, we need to keep our focus firmly at home. Business owners are all too familiar with the “well-intentioned” new regulation that ends up costing jobs and wasting an opportunity to grow.
Businesses are responsible for growing the economy, and every voice in California depends on a vibrant economy. Making sure the business voice is heard will benefit all Californians as they consider their ballot this year. And there’s a lot to consider: 11 statewide measures, two City of Los Angeles measures, a Los Angeles County measure, and many more local city and school district bonds, taxes and laws.
Ballot measures are even more important than bills passed by the Legislature: they can only be overturned by another vote of the people. That’s why measures such as Proposition 6 are so dangerous. Placed on the ballot for partisan reasons by politicians in Washington, D.C., Proposition 6 doesn’t just threaten existing funding for road improvements. It also requires a costly ballot measure campaign for any future attempt to raise revenue for projects such as the East San Fernando Valley line, new carpool lanes on the 5 freeway in Santa Clarita and improvements to the Metro Orange line right here in the San Fernando Valley.
The business community understands how important investing in infrastructure is: these are the types of investments which will grow our economy. We need to vote no on Proposition 6.
An example of the type of “investment” which doesn’t grow our economy can be found in Measure W. It places a new tax per-square-foot on impermeable surfaces in order to fund a vague new set of programs around stormwater.
As a Valley resident, I have a few problems with this. First of all, the Valley will be paying way more than our share. We live in a lower-density community with surface parking lots, low-rise buildings and larger residential plots.
Secondly, Valley businesses that have invested millions of dollars in water recycling or reduction will have to go through an onerous new process so they can get a rebate and avoid paying twice. Penalizing the innovators by making them pay a new tax is the definition of short-sighted.