Max Gail

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    140

    Alleviate tax burden

    I urge both Malibu’s residents and elected officials to seriously consider the implications of bond measures or sales tax increases to finance parks and recreation services. We are very much a mixed community of rich, middle class and poor, which incorporates both young and old. For those on the lower end of the economic spectrum, particularly those with fixed incomes, simply living in Malibu is the greatest blessing imaginable. The combination of diversity and unity, fierce independence and community spirit is what makes Malibu’s population so unique and such a treasure. We should be very careful before undertaking any sort of public financing that could jeopardize or destabilize it.

    I personally know no one who was lured here by the hope of parks and recreation services, nor do I know anyone who would leave this paradise should the city fail to provide them. Comparisons to Agoura Hills are odious-the economic, demographic and geographic differences are simply far too great. This is not to say that it wouldn’t be welcome for the city to provide such-but with countless state and local bond issues already riding on people’s property tax bills (including the recent prop. SS), various assessment district levies, an ongoing national recession, a burgeoning federal deficit and the as-yet unsolved crisis of a $38 billion state deficit, the possibility of ongoing financial hardship, even for middle class residents, remains very real. I believe Malibu’s City Council owes it to residents to not compound that hardship.

    At the same time, numerous communities throughout the nation have found creative alternatives to bond measures and tax increases. Not all would be suitable for Malibu, but some could be promising. Delaying consideration of a bond measure or sales tax increase would give city staff the chance to research the viability of such alternatives and find a way to give Malibu residents augmented services without the financial burden.

    Wade Major