Sunday, Nov. 26, 2006 | While Joe Flynn thinks that the citizens of San Diego cling to “free” trash collection, it’s the city employees who cling to the idea that income must come from fees and not taxes. Fees can be raised whenever the unions strike and create a deficit, while taxes must be voted on. Fees can be automatically hiked (i.e. with inflation) without regard to fiscal responsibility, while taxes require fiscal responsibility in order to pass muster by the community.

The citizens do know that trash collection isn’t free, but they also know that unfettered fees result in less, not more, fiscal responsibility. They also know that given the pension mess, now is not the time to begin another round of fiscal irresponsibility by switching to fees instead of taxes.

I agree that the city’s income streams should be re-evaluated for value in the 21st century (and, in fact, on a scheduled basis to avoid future revenue issues), but converting the taxes to fees should not be part of the equation.

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