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Loan Shark Terms
October 29, 1997


Wednesday, October 29, 1997
Section: Opinion
Page: A13
Column: Readers' Forum

Measure H allows the city to borrow $24 million on the bond market with 30 years to repay, plus interest of $27 million. Borrow $24 million and pay back $51 million. Those are loan shark terms. 

Where will we get that kind of money? Through property taxes. Measure H authorizes the city to collect $3.4 million each year for 29 years to pay off the debt; $3.4 million times 29 years equals $98 million. If the total cost of Measure H is $51 million, why is the city levying $98 million? 

Measure H allows the city to quietly collect an extra $47 million in taxes without obligation to spend it on anything specific. It is a $24 million bond to be financed over 30 years by $98 million in taxes. 

All of Tom Butt's arguments about dilapidated this and that remind me of a traveling salesman telling me what I need, when what he needs is for me to sign onto a deal that will allow him to take over my property when I can no longer make the payments. 

Donna Powers won't be paying her share of these taxes. As soon as she closes escrow on her Point Richmond home and dictates who gets her council seat, she is off to beautiful Pleasant Valley where property taxes are much lower. 

Alex Evans is another promoter of this tax. When he began his career, he bought a small house in the county area because he said Richmond property taxes were too high. True, he lives in the city now, but he moved here as a sacrifice for the council seat. Would Alex tax himself unless he thought the tax was worthwhile? Go figure. 

In order to borrow $24 million, we have to pay back $51 million. And to do this we have to pay a grand total of $98 million in new taxes over 29 years. 

Vote no on Measure H. 

Ron Deziel