Editorials • May 29, 2007
Letter to the Chron- Berkeley Going Green
So, Mayor Tom Bates thinks Berkeley residents are "willing to make lifestyle changes" to advance a green agenda. So why doesn't he put a sales tax increase before the voters to pay for all his ideas? That way everyone living in or visiting Berkeley can do their part to green the city. But no, instead all I've read are plans to stick the homeowners and landlords of Berkeley to pay for the idealism of the few. "Landlords will be required to provide free bus passes to tenants." Homeowners/landlords must pay for "costly requirements" such as "high-efficiency appliances, solar-powered water heaters, insulation in the walls." "The costs will be tacked on to property tax bills" - as your reporter noted, "already ... some of the highest taxes in the state."
Change is great as long as someone else is paying, because everyone loves a free ride. Mayor Bates, I challenge you to get voter approval to raise the sales tax in Berkeley to pay for your plans. Let's see how much people are willing to pay for their idealism.