Let’ all agree on one thing here: Humboldt County’s roads suck. They really, really suck.
Know what else really sucks? When your County Supervisors and the Humboldt County Association of Governments put together a half-cent sales tax under the guise of fixing those roads, but also sneak a whole bunch of unnecessary projects in under the same measure.
Check out the the Ballot Measure Expenditure plan on HCAOG’s website, which details the proposed allocation of funds to different cities and also outlines the intended uses for the predicted funds.
THC won’t go into how f***ed up it is to include “retention of commercial air service” in the tax measure, because in order to retain commercial air service you actually need to have commercial air service in the first place.
Now, let’s dive into “Maintenance, rehabilitation, and reconstruction of existing transportation including trails and transit.” This is the beginning a totally legit statement about using tax funds to fix our roads until you get past the first 7 words.
You’ll notice a loud beeping noise in your ears when you get to “…including trails and transit” – don’t be alarmed, that’s just your internal bullshit detector doing it’s job. This is how the Supervisors and HCAOG think they’ll get away with trying to tax the Humboldt residents for a projected $200 million dollars under the guise of fixing our crumbling roads and instead turn around and use that money to make more bike lanes, and revamp the public transit system that nobody uses anyway.
If you’ve been paying attention, you’ll notice this is very similar to how the County sold the Measure Z tax as the only way Humboldt could retain adequate levels of police and fire service and then turned around and used it for completely unrelated bullshit. They’ll turn around and say, “Oh hey guys, it says trails and shit right in the tax measure so we weren’t really lying…”
And that’s all a bunch of bullshit. But the second bullet point on the Ballot Measure Expenditure Plan, which reads “Local match leveraging of state and federal funds for road, trails and transit infrastructure,” is just as infuriating.
That means that these tax monies could ostensibly be used to build new trails, new roads, new bike lines, more buses for no one to ride, etc. We’ll first point out that there are already a shit ton of trails in Humboldt County, and that money is much, much better spent fixing roads than trails. If you want to argue with that, go ahead, you just have to learn how to walk on two feet first.
But more than anything, these friggin’ idiots are talking about the potential of using the projected $200 million dollars – which is not even sufficient to cover our current levels of deferred maintenance, much less the maintenance that will be required over the next 20 years – to build new shit. They want to build new shit when they can’t even keep their old shit from breaking down. Wtf?
We’ll come back to this soon, but we need to go pick up the pieces of our brain that just went flying while attempting to follow the course of reasoning the asshats in the Supervisors’ chambers used while coming up with this tax.