Tax talk

No on the water tax—to me that means Yes on W. The WRAM surcharge that Golden State can add to our bills to make up for any conservation efforts we undertake either to save money or precious water, now that’s a tax.

We pay that money not for any services rendered or goods received (it is above and beyond the monthly service charge), and it guarantees that Golden State makes enough profit to pay big executive salaries and mount big advertising campaigns that obfuscate facts—now that’s a tax.

Buying our water system so our elected representatives can make decisions on the care of our water, especially at this time of drought when we realize we can’t take easy water for granted, isn’t a tax, it’s an investment.

I lived in the Santa Cruz mountains from 1971 to 2010, during the time that about 75 percent of the citizens of Felton passed a bond issue to remove control of their water from private hands and become a public utility, with elected directors and transparent business practices.

Contrary to recent claims from Golden State, Felton water users are paying less now after almost a decade than they would be paying if the proposed price increases to ensure stockholder profits had gone into effect. Yes, water rates have risen, but the system was in poor repair. The neighboring SLV Water District that is part of the same watershed and publicly, not privately run, now oversees the southern part of the water system, probably similar to the role La Verne would play here.

I hope my fellow Claremont water users will join me in voting Yes on W.

Beth Benjamin