San Francisco Bay: $12 parcel tax for wetlands has big financial backers

By Paul Rogers : eastbaytimes – excerpt

When environmentalists wade into political contests, they’re almost always outspent by big business.

But that’s not the case with Measure AA, a $12 annual parcel tax that will appear on the June 7 ballot in all nine Bay Area counties to fund wetlands restoration and flood control projects around San Francisco Bay’s shoreline.

Environmental groups have linked arms with big business this time around, in essence becoming part of the Goliath in the David vs. Goliath contest. The coalition is overpowering anti-tax groups in fundraising by a huge margin, according to campaign spending reports released Friday.

Through last week, the Yes on AA campaign had raised $2.3 million, while opponents have not formed a campaign committee and are relying on volunteer efforts. The yes campaign has hired heavyweight political consultants, conducted professional polling, sent out glossy mailers and begun airing ads on every major Bay Area TV station.

If approved by two-thirds of all the voters in the nine counties combined, the new tax would raise $500 million over the next 20 years to build levees and restore thousands of acres of wetlands and tidal marshes as a buffer to storm surges and floods in every Bay Area county… (more)

We hear that the $12 parcel tax is the first tax the SF Bay Authority plans on and they need billions of dollars. There are plans for a sales tax increase, a 10 cent per gallon gas tax increase, higher car license fees, and a number of other taxes and fees this non-elected, non-government entity wants to extract out of us in the name of cleaning the bay over the next few years.

For this and many other reasons we oppose this tax and hope that other people realize the gentrification effects that increasing taxes have on the area. Most people focus only on the rising costs of housing but, housing is only one element of the gentrification problem. We are looking at 100s of dollars of increased fees and taxes over the next few years. The opposition to this tax wants to limit the number of bodies that can tax us.

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