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Monday, May 10, 2004

"Fair Share" my ass  
Watch out this November for the "Gaming Revenue Act of 2004" on your California ballot. Television commercials have already started appearing, claiming indian casinos need to contribute their "fair share" in California taxes. This "fair share" business is a red herring.

First of all, this has nothing to do with fixing the budget crisis as they claim. There was a bill (SB 1067) recently that really did have that as a goal. It was intended to close the loophole that many businesses operating in California use to avoid paying taxes. But, whaddaya know, it was defeated.

Second, the money for this campaign comes from horse racing and card rooms. Part of this initiative includes new slot machines for them. Also, they would get some tax exemptions. (Fair share, huh?) Plus, a permanent moratorium on new card room licenses, so they wouldn't have to share the wealth after all their hard work to get this passed. Did I say "work"? I meant cash, all their hard cash to get this passed.

Third, the financial backers of this legislation have bought the support of certain people and groups to confer legitimacy. Why does Lee Baca support this measure? This legislation includes a provision to distribute 35% of net revenues to local law enforcement. One hand washes the other. Why does Children's Advocacy Institute support this measure? 50% of net revenues are earmarked for education for abused and neglected children. These are legitimate needs, but this is not the way to meet them.

Over 60% of American corporations paid no federal taxes between 1996-2000. Taxing indian casinos won't fix our budget crisis. This legislation is designed to do one thing: make the rich richer. A real solution is to make those who already owe taxes pay them by closing the corporate tax loophole.

For more info, read this article in the Sacramento Bee.