Thursday, February 01, 2007

Keep It Local?

With all the talk we've heard the last few years about keeping things local, I thought this was the best line from the front page story in the Times- Standard this morning, Success to breed success:

Many believe that local tax dollars stay local, but that is hardly the case. Most of the money goes to the state. And if it comes back local at all, it's through a competitive process.

Indeed, as the late Harry Browne observed, "Like a child on an allowance...".



23 Comments:

At 12:29 PM, Blogger Jeff said...

If bureaucracies weren't so darn inefficient and peppered with corruption, this would not necessarily be a bad thing. Pooling our monies together for many projects, such as state infrastructure projects, provides numerous benefits for all involved. Since local politicians tend to be somewhat more accountable than state reps, I'm for keeping as many local dollars local as possible. But nobody asked me.

 
At 2:06 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

All of the talk about buying local refers to retail sales, a very different subject than taxes.

As to the efficiency of public expenditures, I agree with Oliver Wendell Holmes. He said that "taxes are the price we pay for civilization." But Libertarians eking out an impoverished existence in Humboldt say they don't need that, and moreover don't want anyone else to have it either.

 
At 2:19 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Sometimes local turns out to not be local at all. Some businesses are owned by people that live elsewhere and unless you have seen the Fictitious Business filing that was published you would not know. At least their employees live here and spend the money here and have a job here.

As for taxes - about $.14 of every tax dollar the county receives stays here - the rest leaves.

 
At 3:04 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

2:19 I'd like to see all the calculations of State expenditures in Humboldt. I'm always reading about lots of State government grants, that finance public works. There are many folks on WIC, SSI MediCal and food stamps(partially State funded). Employees of HSU, CALTRANS, CHP and many local government positions are funded by the State. My guess is that in total, Humboldt receives a lot more back from the State than 14 cents on the dollar.

Localism: I don't think its about who owns an enterprise. Typically businesses have a profit of 10 to 15 percent of sales. The cost of a retail item largely goes to producing and financing it. Retail salaries, rents, sales taxes, and marketing are also significant costs. Most of that stays local.

 
At 5:50 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Humboldt generates more than its share of taxes, California pays way more than its share of taxes. We float America so the red states can have their cigarettes, tobacco, and trailers.

 
At 6:32 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

5:50PM Your source please.

 
At 7:53 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

CNN

 
At 8:30 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Got the amount of $.14 from your own Board of Supervisors at their meeting. Then show up and ask them at next meeting if this is not true or send an e-mail to all of the Supes not just your Supe as your Supe will give you a different amount (some or one is in denial). Supes are always and have always complained about how little the county gets back from everyone. Maybe some more of you need to go to the Supes meetings or at least watch the rerun on Wednesday. The newspapers do not report everything. It is up to you all to be on track and know what happens here if you are going to complain. This is just my 2 cents and if you don't do this you won't know how much we give to everyone else.

 
At 2:59 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

6:32, I'm your source. I've been to the red states. I've seen them floating. Don't visit without bringing your boat.

 
At 6:10 AM, Blogger ΛΕΟΝΙΔΑΣ said...

Odd. I live in a red state and sold my boat prior to abandoning Kalifornia.:o)

 
At 7:07 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

219 - that # (.14)is the amount of property taxes the county gets to keep, not income taxes, etc. With the largest employers being the schools and the county, it is doubtful this county is pulling it's own weight, tax-wise.

 
At 11:02 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Yeah ,being the largest timber producing county in the nation probably doesn't generate much taxes compared to our massive population. Perhaps we should give away our water so we can feel equal to the rest of Cali's great counties.

 
At 11:19 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I've lived in California for nearly 65 years and I never once heard a native Californian refer to our state as "Cali."

 
At 11:45 AM, Anonymous Stephen said...

I'm a native Californian and I've referred to my state as "Cali". After all, California was named after "Califia", the Spanish goddess Herself named after Kali, the great Goddess of the Hindus who's name and Feminine form of the Godhead spread outside of India. Us gnostic Christians give honor to the Feminine forms of the Godhead unlike our patriarchal Abrahamic monomaniacal brethren.

 
At 1:53 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

11:19 you have now, and you're welcome. It certainly begs the question: "Where have you been for the last 65 years?" NATIVE CALIFORNIAN

 
At 4:42 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hey 11:45, I respect the Feminine forms of the Godhead, mucho. I think 11:19 is a patriarchal Abrahamic monomaniacal brethren.

 
At 7:50 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

11:02 - nice - but it doesn't matter what you produce if you spend more. I believe Humboldt uses more taxes than it generates. Do you have info otherwise?

 
At 9:10 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I don't, however it would seem a natural resources county , famous for producing the most of a few things, with a low population, simply has nothing more to offer. If it's not enough for the economy, then the county should start giving out free cans of Crisco...

 
At 9:41 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Its an interesting question I have been trying to get to the botton of for a long time. What do we actually pay? What do we actually get? What are we producing GCP v/s property tax revenue v/s services recieved? We keep hearing the tired song that prop13 has destroyed counties. That just doesn't ring true to me.Consider that the average home price pre-prop13 was about 25,000 dollars and the average price today is 300,000 dollars and that every time a property sells that the sales price is the new value for assesment. Although our population has only increased about 12,000 in that time all cost for service has exploded as has county salaries. With an average county income of about 25.000 dollars our BOS are making $70,000+ and we are giving over $80,000 for a new librarian. Funding our county on grants is a very hap hasard affair. When you see the types of grants and negitive impacts many of them have on production,access, the administrative load and the strings attached you can see that needs assesments standards are close to non-exhistant for relevence. There are some good grants for law enforcement,road improvements,water qulity, etc. that make sence but they rely on a competitive needs process again. Way to often the grant money hitting the ground in our counties are feel good payola's for projects that create no economy. No one knows if were getting what we deserve or if what were getting is doing us any good. I have proposed this as a project for study at HSU. I continue to push it and am hopeful that it may actually happen. Untill we know these answeres in detail we are captive to any line ,(pro or con) counties want to take. Maybe another 1% sales tax on the ballot.I'd like to better informed. Dennis Mayo

 
At 8:24 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

People forget that in order to give, the government must first take away. Every time I read about these grants I wonder whose money we are getting - is it ours that they are merely giving back, or is it produced somewhere else and we are depriving the county that generated it from their funds?

 
At 9:40 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I wonder the same thing about taxes associated with home ownership.Where does the money go?In one month I pay more than the previous owner paid in a year. I'm sure many, many people are in the same boat. Where is all this new revenue going? Well spoken, and good questions Dennis.

 
At 10:23 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

The property taxes go to the state (86%) - most of that is spent on schools. Schools get $$ based on enrollment, and our schools are in a decline. Maybe we aren't getting a good deal - or when they get those grants, it is really only returning our money, with new strings.

 
At 8:48 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

It sounds like there is no way to determine whether we as a county are givers or takers.

 

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