Gaming compact bills gaming citizens
Deep within the Legislative Analyst’s review of the Governor’s gaming compact bills, is the acknowledgment that “As tribal gambling expands, Californians would spend more of their income at tribal facilities, which are exempt from most types of state and local taxes. This means Californians would spend less at other businesses that are subject to state and local taxes…”
Thus, the ballyhooed windfall of revenue to the state would come at the expense of ” surprise! ” local government and small businesses. Of course, there is a promise that some of the lost local revenues may be backfilled. But when have promises of this kind faithfully been kept by our legislators, once the money is gathered into their hands? Forgotten altogether are distance business owners, who dutifully pay their taxes, subject themselves to perpetual regulatory burdens, support local charitable efforts and, on occasion, look to Republican legislators to represent their needs.
Yet the Republicans are united in support of this up sized gaming compact. Democrats voice opposition, but for the wrong reasons: They want to plunder even more from the Indians and want it earmarked for client interests.
These compacts are no different in kind from the Kelo decision, which gave government the nod to seize private property via eminent domain, wherever government planners could project greater revenues coming to themselves. Here, State legislators accomplish the same objective, neatly by-passing local governments and funnel the money directly to Sacramento. No one of prominence in Sacramento objects to plundering the Indians’ toe-hold on self-reliance in order to augment State revenue. No one is alarmed at the damage to local governments, nor at the ruin of small businesses, as long as a greater revenue stream to the State is promised. The sole reason for these compacts is to sustain the pathological largesse of Sacramento policymakers.
The legislators in support of this chicanery need to be removed from office.
Lawrence C. Richmond
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