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A No on Prop. A

October 25, 1987

The Times editorial ("Vote Yes on Proposition A," Oct. 18) deserves a response. If passed, Measure A would raise the county sales tax to 6.5% for transportation projects. Although some projects might be beneficial, this tax would be a blank check for local governments. Many citizens believe that most of the funds would be spent on projects that would benefit developers and result in only more subdivision and worse gridlock.

In the same edition, The Times printed an article by two USC professors of urban development that criticized San Diego's Interim Development Ordinance. They maintain that the excessive growth rate in Southern California is economically advantageous to the citizens, despite admittedly adverse environmental impacts. Measure A proves them wrong.

In case after case, citizens in San Diego County have begged governmental bodies to disapprove or scale down developments along crowded arterial roads. In most cases the citizens have been disregarded. The typical decision process goes like this:

First, the developer requests approval for the project near the crowded arterial. Second, the citizens appeal the request. Third, the governmental body approves the developer's project. Fourth, the government then predictably asks for higher taxes to compensate for poor planning.

Is there any wonder, then, that the citizens cynically refer to this process as the "shaft 'em and tax 'em" syndrome? Citizens cannot be blamed for opposing tax increases that merely subsidize poor land use decisions that are inimical to their well-being and neighborhood integrity.

The citizens of San Diego County should vote down Proposition A because it will increase governmental revenues without curbing the tax-insatiable growth rate. The monies will merely subsidize another tidal wave of development, which, in the final analysis, will leave result in even worse gridlock.

RALPH W. BALLMER

Escondido

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