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Fullerton Can't Afford Utility Tax Hike

September 05, 1993

* The Times' reporting of the filing of a lawsuit against the city of Fullerton by businessman Thomas J. O'Neill ("City Sued Over Utility Tax Hike," Aug. 24) seriously fails to fully note the consequences of the city's recently enacted utility tax.

It stated that the city estimates that "the tax will cost the average user about $4.40 a month." This creates the false impression of a small, harmless tax. What the article failed to state is that the largest businesses, the financial backbone of our community, will be paying up to the ceiling of $10,000 per utility or $40,000 per year! As written, the tax will be on contiguous facilities which would make those companies, operating in separate locations, apparently liable for additional taxes.

There is little need to note that Orange County, with its extremely high rates of business failures and unemployment, and base closings is yet to recover from the economic malaise which is hitting us harder than the rest of the country. An additional tax, especially one falling heavily on the business community, can only lead to competitive disadvantage particularly when very serious doubts have been cast upon its true need and now its legality.

Further, the long-term effects of a tax of this nature may lead to future increases in it which would make Fullerton a less desirable business environment. The city would do well to be reminded that "the power to tax is the power to destroy"!

MARV GONSOIR

Fullerton

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