Monday, July 25, 2011

Monday Must Read: Local Taxation Measure Shelved; Yosemite to Cut Down Hella Trees

By Ellen Cushing
Mon, Jul 25, 2011 at 7:00 AM

Hello, party people. Here are the stories you shouldn't miss:

1. A controversial proposal to give local governments the authority to tax their residents is being tabled til 2012, according to the LA Times. Interestingly enough, this comes just as a new poll indicates Californians would be amenable to voter-approved local taxes on stuff like cigarettes, liquor, and soda.

2. In order to bridge a monumental budget gap — and facing a tax-averse political climate — the state of California is increasingly turning to fee increases, reporteth the Sacramento Bee in a fascinating story from Sunday's paper. That means a 20 percent hike in student fees in the UC and CSU systems, double-digit increases for state park users, and major spikes in vehicle registration fees; plus the introduction of new fees like a $150 "fire charge" for rural homes. Yikes.

3. From the Merc: As part of an effort to improve views of the park's most iconic vistas, Yosemite officials are proposing a plan to cut down as many as thousands of trees in Yosemite Valley. Officials are, of course, planning on doing it in a way that's environmentally sound as well as conscientious to birds and park visitors, and environmental groups largely support the plan, but not everyone's overjoyed at the idea of a bunch of trees getting cut down.

4.It ain't exactly news, but the Trib's got a nice Sunday feature on newly minted Oakland City Manager Deanna Santana.

5. Dudes, the LA Times was on fire this weekend. Read this great piece about the Amazon tax fight and "why the political-industrial complex thrives in this state despite a lingering slump in other sectors."

6. Also also: Amy, we hardly knew ye.

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