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LOCAL VOICES: Compton taxes among highest in the County

Even with Carson’s voter-approved tax increase, Compton still pays higher utility taxes to its own chagrin; Measure P would put city in even higher tax bracket  By SUSAN ADAMS Thank God some Compton residents do get it. They know

Even with Carson’s voter-approved tax increase, Compton still pays higher utility taxes to its own chagrin; Measure P would put city in even higher tax bracket

 By SUSAN ADAMS

Thank God some Compton residents do get it. They know Carson’s city attorney declared Compton will still pay higher utility taxes than Carson even with their own newly approved measure. Compton also pays higher property taxes than Carson, and with the passage of Measure P, Compton will then pay higher sales taxes than Carson.

Given that Compton residents already pay higher taxes than most cities in Los Angeles County, attempting to chastise and embarrass residents for not being willing to pay for progress and to move their city forward is yet another manipulation and myth that defies actual reality. So the real question becomes where is the money going?

The frustration you see displayed at city council meetings are from those citizens who closely follow and study city budgets, who know for a fact the revenue is there, who then watch as the money is misspent, misdirected, misallocated, held up, and mismanaged by even this present administration at a rate, some allege, far exceeds all others.

What “they get” is citizens are being ripped off then asked to pay a higher sales tax to cover budget abuse in order to quickly deliver on promised progress in the third year of a term.  What “they get” is spending so rampant, cronyism so prevalent, and checks being written under the cap necessary for council approval, that a rumored 70 percent of the budget was used up in just five to six months.

Yes, the delivery of some could be more muted, but even more sinister is the deliberate characterization of the old, those that oppose, and those knowledgeable about the game as enemies of progress in order to silence what they know.

City’s progress was seeded and germinated before Mayor Aja Brown

And as for our seniors, they do not fear progress, they have earned progress. They endured the dark times and collectively have paid more than all others, desperately desiring to see Compton return to its former glory before they pass. But they have the memory of former Mayor Eric Perrodin and his “Birthing a New Compton” improvement campaign which resulted in the building of the Gateway Towne Center, which encompasses TGIFriday; development of the Douglas F. Dollarhide Community Center, and the rise of the Compton Metro-Blue Line Station.

Our senior citizens see the irony of Mayor Aja Brown standing in front of these aforementioned examples of progress that came before her, taking pictures as she declares improving Compton  to be her “new idea,” alone. These “uncommon folk” know and remember and one could learn from them.

Compton’s seniors have lived long enough to ask the question: “What type of progress backed by whom at what cost?” Brooklyn and Harlem, New York underwent a seven-year transformation called “progress” and when it was over, both Blacks and Browns were gentrified right out of New York because of higher costs and taxes, re-zoning, developer-driven projects, and the priorities of outside influences. Today, you see White professionals getting onboard their blue lines.  Many have stories of how “progress defined by outsiders” for the “benefit of the people” ran right over and through them. You would do well to listen. Anyone remember The Palms?

So what “they get” is what you don’t get. What “they get” is the deliberate pitting of  the young versus the older generation, Browns against Blacks, and splitting the Compton community in half to achieve passage of Measure P.

What “they get” is the infrastructure across America going neglected not only in Compton — a city fraught with violent crime — but by an older generation passing the problem on to the next, just as this generation and the 1 cent forever sales tax is  passing  their problems on to their children.

What “they get” is unbridled youthful enthusiasm uncoupled from elderly wisdom, knowledge, and past perspective can often be manipulated leading to an old but profound truth — “Those that don’t learn from the past are doomed to repeat it again.”

So indeed, Mr. Santiago, you are right — God help us all!

Susan Adams is a member of the Vote No Measure P Committee.

Compton Herald is a digital news publication providing clear, fair and current news, information and commentary about Compton, the Los Angeles metropolitan area, Los Angeles County, California, and the world.

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