Arnie, baby, tell me it ain’t true! Newspaper reports indicate the proposed state budget plans to close Austin Creek Reserve and Armstrong Woods along with 46 other California parks. In Sonoma County the Petaluma Adobe park would also be closed. It’s clear that we have budget woes in the state, but there have to be better solutions than closing pubic facilities beloved by the public.
The silly thing about “saving money” by closing parks is that the towns and surrounding businesses will be taking in less sales tax for the state as visitors who would have stopped and enjoyed the parks decide to spend their vacations doing something else. They may spend their money here, or they might go somewhere else. The hotels and motels will also be bringing in less Transient Occupancy Tax which hits the county hard.
This blog isn’t the right forum for helping balance the state budget, but let me put one often discussed alternative out there for people to think about. Many states charge sales tax on professional and craft services the same as they do for products. If we collected sales tax on your accountant, lawyer, and plumber we could balance the budget while lowering the overall sales tax rate for everything else. You could even charge tax on the work of lowly bloggers and web site designers to bring in a couple of bucks. I just hate to see Arnold take his sword to the state budget without the citizenry giving him our two cents…or 8.5 cents worth.
Update: parks saved for now. Budget woes continue.