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Yosemite Falls

 

On April 11, The Bee ran pro and con commentaries on the Merced River Plan, which is the blueprint for Yosemite Valley. We also provided links to learn about and comment on the plan.

Thus far, the National Park Service has received 25,000 comments on the controversial plan, which calls for a limit of 19,900 visitor on busy days and would remove the popular winter ice rink at Curry Village.

The comment period, which was supposed to end Thursday, has been extended to April 30. The Bee’s Mark Grossi has more.

You can learn more about the Merced River Plan here. You can comment on the plan to the National Park Service here.

The state of California goes after people who owe taxes, but what happens when the state is the deadbeat? CalWatchdog has the story.

Our Letter of the Day is from Rep. Tom McClintock, whose sprawling district includes a swath of the Sierra in the central San Joaquin Valley. He is critical of our March 16 editorial urging Congress to maintain phone service for the poor.

 

Everyone will pay more taxes under Prop. 30

The conservative spin about Proposition 30 passing in California is that the “takers” voted for it because they won’t have to pay the increased taxes. Wrong.

The measure raises the state sales tax by a quarter-cent for four years. Everyone pays sales taxes if you live in California, as well as visitors coming into the state. A sales tax is a regressive tax, and hits lower-income earners harder than high-income earners. So the so-called “takers” voted for a tax that they will pay.

Prop. 30 also raises income taxes on those making $250,000 or more for seven years. The poor won’t pay that part of the tax increase because if they made $250,000, they wouldn’t be poor.

But the idea that because you’re poor, your motives for voting aren’t as pure as someone who is wealthy does not meet the ideals of our democracy. We vote for people and measures for a variety of reasons — some because of self-interest and some because of our political philosophies. Those who vote against taxes likely do it because they don’t want to pay more taxes. That’s voting in their self interest. There’s nothing wrong with that, but we should also acknowledge the reason for their votes.