The Radio Equalizer: Brian Maloney

27 January 2005

Rosenblog: Santa Cruz's Millionaire Tax Plan

Rosenblog is covering my original hometown of Santa Cruz a lot better than I have been, quite frankly, and he found a big issue in the Santa Cruz Sentinel- a tax on millionaires to fund mental health services:

(Rosenblog) Sticking millionaires with the cost of increased and new mental health care treatments, via a ballot proposition, strikes me as a particularly egregious form of political cowardice. Work it into the county budget or propose a more broadly distributed revenue measure? Nah, add a special income tax for the rich, that'll work.

It sets a crummy precedent. What happens next time the county board finds itself unable to muster up the courage to say no, or cut other services when faced with a perceived "need" for more social and health services? Another ballot measure to tax millionaires? I can't see any reason why not, now.

I also have questions about the mentally-ill population in Santa Cruz County. If you've ever hung out in the heart of downtown Santa Cruz, you'll know the vibe is set by armies of young vagrants, many in dreadlocks, congregating for free food and herbal companionship. I believe that after toking on several hundred fatties of BC Bud, many of them undoubtedly qualify as officially mentally ill. But it is largely their own doing.

Another point: since starter homes in Santa Cruz go for $600-700k and up these days, isn't just about every homeowner a "millionaire" in a way? How do you define the term?


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