Tuesday, May 29, 2007

Terminator 4: The Farminator

Hello again...it is I, the environmental watchdog alter-ego of one Josh Ruffin. My apologies for not introducing myself in more detail, but that lazy bastard is apparently too busy to even give me a name. Anyway--

For the past few months, Arnold, aka the Governator, aka FLAGNSPMATGUHM!, has surprisingly, sometimes weirdly, endeared himself to avid greeners. With plans to reduce California's carbon emissions by 25% in the next few years, and a law having already been passed doing away with plastic bags, Schwarzy has become the posterboy for the refreshing, new enlightened Republican faction.

It is thus dishearteningly noteworthy to read of his latest ambition, overturning the Williamson Act of the 1960s, a law that "helps preserve farms and ranches by allowing those who enroll in the program to have their land taxed at a rate based on actual use, not potential use. The state then compensates cities and counties for the revenue loss."

Here's the problem, in lay terms:

Say a big box store establishes a location near some privately-owned and operated farmland. As we value cheaply manufactured, Third World-produced crap more than the inherent and actual value of something like, I don't know, growing food to FEED PEOPLE, the taxes on that privately-owned land would go up, due to "potential value."

Some of the potentially affected counties house some of California's most celebrated and productive farmland.

No word yet on whether or not SkyNet is involved, but the move is just a petty scheme to try and save the state a few bucks, as the state is responsible for recompensating cities and counties for the revenue loss due to lower taxes on the land.

Credit: grist.org/

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