Opinion » Letters

Parcel tax, redux


In March 2020, Oceano voters rejected measure A-20, which would have imposed a flat parcel tax of $180 to fund fire and emergency services provided by the Five Cities Fire Authority. Now the Oceano Community Services District is planning to put exactly the same measure on the June 2022 ballot. A-20's failure was supposed to trigger OCSD's withdrawal from the fire authority. But the board majority didn't respect the will of the voters. It kicked the can down the road, continuing to deficit spend to fund the fire authority for two extra years while experiencing periodic closures of the Oceano fire station due to staffing shortages. Insanity is doing the same thing over again and expecting a different result. The flat tax was rejected in part because it is unfair, placing the same financial burden on a tiny old bungalow as on a modern estate, a large restaurant, or a warehouse. Yet the board majority rejected more equitable square-footage based tax approaches and again chose the $180 flat parcel tax: A-20, redux. Oceano residents have one more chance to stop the insanity, by speaking up at the board's virtual public hearing on Jan. 26.

Cynthia Replogle


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