Ryan Sundberg: Paying people to poll you to see if you should have higher taxes

Gee, thanks Ryan! THC thinks that hiring a firm to poll the public on whether they want a higher sales tax is an absolutely fantastic use of funds and energy.

From tomorrow’s B.o.S. agenda:

Ryan sales tax #1Okay, okay, tomorrow is just a discussion of the potential for implementing a 30-year sales tax for the purpose of funding infrastructure improvements. And as the Supervisors’ appointed representative to HCAOG (the agency that first brought the proposal forward) it’s kind of his job to bring the discussion to the County level. Cool, good job Ryan. (It literally hurts us to say things like that, FYI.)

However, that doesn’t change the fact that there is some really terrible thinking behind this. Hiring a polling firm to sound out the public’s thoughts will cost about $30,000. From the report being presented to the Supervisors tomorrow:

Ryan sales tax#2You can read the entirety of that report by going through the County’s agenda for tomorrow.

Now, it’s undeniable that the County roads need some serious frickin’ help. And THC isn’t absolutely against the idea of a tax that would expressly be used to update our road system (surprising, right?). You know how we revile taxes.

But we also seem to recall that we got pretty screwed on the last tax measure that was passed last year. And what about that other proposed tax increase set to hit the ballots in the very near future?

Something that’s also concerning about HCAOG’s $30k proposal is that HCAOG is the source of some truly, uh, mind-expanding work. Seriously, read the report found in tomorrow’s B.o.S. agenda – you’ll get a kick out of it!

One of our favorite parts was this:

Ryan sales tax#3Uh…you think?

Unfortunately, the conversation that HCAOG started was based off some pretty old data, hailing from the bygone days of 2008. Which, hopefully, means that more people have pulled their heads out of their asses to realize the County is way, way off course. (Kind of like a certain intrepid explorer of times long past – Happy Columbus/Native Indigenous People’s Day, Humboldt!)

At that time, Humboldt’s voters’ primary concerns looked like this (according to HCAOG):

ryan sales tax #4THC has a feeling that the primary concerns have changed just a wee bit. However, we shudder to think of the cost that was required to create this now outdated report – and we also shudder to think someone at HCAOG will read this, and say “Hey Ryan, how much more could we squeeze out of taxpayers to fund another wasteful study?”

So what do you think, THC fans? Want to pay more for smoother rides throughout the County?

Hopefully any of those “transportation” funds won’t be misappropriated to study cutting down trees at the Arcata-McKinleyville-Eureka-Redwood-California-Coast Airport like they did to the Measure Z funds here and here.


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8 Responses to Ryan Sundberg: Paying people to poll you to see if you should have higher taxes

  1. Luke Bruner says:

    Pretty disappointed that medical marijuana only came in at 2% 😦


  2. Milldoin says:

    I sat on my hands during the Measure Z fiasco, mainly because I am a Sundberg supporter.
    The taxes that came in to the County from scores of sawmills, trucking companies, and support business’s have all dried up, But the County has not cut back. Seems like all they know is tax and spend.
    The Supervisors should tell the CEO to come up with the money, without more taxes. If he doesn’t. find a new CEO. Continue this process until they find one with some balls.
    A lot of us feel like the Sups/CEO hood winked the tax payers out of 3 million dollars. May be that money should be spent on roads.
    I can save the county $30000 bucks. No more taxes.


  3. Gail O. says:

    If I remember correctly, the last time they wanted to raise taxes, they spent a lot of money figuring out how much of a tax they would need to generate the money they needed. After the voters bought in to the idea, then they decided that they had miscalculated and made the tax about twice as high as they really needed.. I don’t think they would have needed voter approval to reduce a tax to make it right!!! But of course, there was no talk of that. They just found a way to spend the extra money. Now they need more. Can they be serious? 8.25% is too high already. You are sending us on shopping trips to Oregon, which is very bad for local business.
    Instead of spending $30,000, how about just using some technology? Put a poll on their website for 30 days. Publicize it well. I bet all the blogs would link to it. Talk about it on talk shop and every other public service outlet Set it up so each computer can vote only once, and it would be as valid as any phone poll. Pretty much free, too. Course that will rule that out.


  4. URI says:

    I believe we actually don’t have CEO but rather a CAO. Might not be a bad idea for the county to get a CEO though. A CEO could streamline the process and as long and as there is still room for sufficient public input on critical issues, we may want to look into that.


    • Sam says:

      you poor dumb thing Uri. Get an actual Accountant to do an AUDIT before firing Smith-Hanes who would rather be roller-blading in Florida anyway, and THEN get a decent CAO who would say NO to the spending by BOS for all ridiculous entitlements etc.


      • URI says:

        What does rollerblading in Florida have to do with anything I said? Or does it just make you feel smart to anonymously call someone dumb? There are more intelligent ways to feel smart you might want to look into.

        Liked by 2 people

  5. Anonymous Too says:

    It’s truly mind numbing that our stupidvisors would waste $30,000 of desperately needed funds on something so stupid as a poll to decide whether they should stick us with yet another tax we can’t afford. Who wants to bet that the results of their skewed questions shows that the public would love nothing more than another tax. These idiots have never seen a tax they don’t like.


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