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Letters to the Editor:

Repeal the tax

Dear Mayor O’Conner and Council Members:

My wife and I are being billed by a company named MBIA on behalf of Santa Monica City for a business license for the years starting with 2001, as well as for an extra fee for their work. This license is now required for anyone who filed a 1099 or a schedule ’C’ with his federal income tax return they told me. I am a teacher with LAUSD and do not operate a business.

Some years ago, my wife bought a water purifier which is sold through a multi-level marketing company. She gets a commission from sales of people who signed up under her. Last year she netted about $700 and therefore received a 1099 from the company showing this as income. We never considered this as operating a “business” in Santa Monica. Apparently the city finance department suggested adding a business license fee to anyone who receives a 1099 form and lives in Santa Monica. Feinstein, Genser, O’Conner, Mckeown and Bloom voted this in. You failed to set an income threshold and this license will cost more than a third of the income earned as commission.

I am writing to you to encourage you to propose that this license fee be repealed or limited to those earning real money with perhaps a $5,000 threshold. Dunning housewives for a share of these meager commissions by forcing them to register as a business for even a few hundred dollars on a 1099 is unfair and outrageous, as far as I am concerned.

You can be sure that I will NOT vote for and will actively oppose mayors and council-persons who support this method of raising revenues from people who are receiving 1099s or filing schedule ’Cs.’ This is no way to raise revenues and I ask you to repeal this rule and fire MBIA.

Steve Reicher

Santa Monica

Wise words

To the editor:

Paul Cummins in his recent columns did his usual job of educating us about the merits of raising the minimum wage.

He was on point in advocating employers to pay $7.25 an hour as an absolute good. He skillfully got us to ignore the argument that $7.25 was higher than the value to the employers and that billions of people in China, India and eastern Europe have better skills but are willing to work for less. Since he felt the workers needed more than $5.15 an hour, he stressed that as a society we could avoid the welfare cost by forcing the employers to pay the difference (instead of us). They wouldn’t outsource these jobs just to be competitive because that would be wrong.

He, along with our city council, educated us that since Santa Monica had solved all budget problems that we could afford to spend between $500,000 and $3 million a year to non-Santa Monica residents who would benefit from the “Living Wage.” Our school children will understand the need for sacrifice as well bowing to the wisdom of a small group of enlightened individuals as compared to the thousands and millions of the uninformed in the marketplace.

Besides he stressed the religious justification of why we need to bring religion back into the legislative process. We need more enlightenment from Paul.

Don Schort

Santa Monica

Safer administration

To the editor:

Do I believe I am safer under this Administration? Let’s see…the assault weapon ban has expired, we’ve legally sold guns to 47 people on the FBI’s Terrorist Watch List, and now Congress wants to give gun dealers and manufacturers immunity from any legal action. We have had shootings in a school, courthouse and church service this month. I can only imagine what the next four years are going to bring.

Suzanne Verge

Santa Monica


had enough time

To the editor:

What those of us who watched or listened to the March 22nd meeting of the City Council experienced was nothing more that an attempt of some councilpersons to speak to an issue that has been waiting for a solution long enough!

They’ve had long enough to deal with the fact that lot sizes are different in north and south Santa Monica and “one size does not fit all” when it comes to codes and variances, etc.

Residents of the southern part of our city want a resolution sooner rather than later and letting the Planning Department continue on its two-year track does not resolve the issue.

If the Planning Department cannot come up with a solution by August (the agreement finally honed by our city council) then it is a situation far worse than we all imagined.

Brinksmanship had nothing to do with it! Responding sincerely to a needless dilemma was the issue.

Councilman Genser who has worked so well with the Planning Department because he and his cohorts on the council conveniently used the bureaucracy as a tool in the attempt to control growth, whatever the size of the lot, just did not want to respond to the issue brought forth by some Sunset Park residents. Not fair…. and on top of that the “overworked” Planning Department is in that condition because of the handy work of Genser and those on the council who vote his way.

What to do? Well, just continue to worship at the altar of ordinances and council directives intended primarily to intimidate, frustrate and delay home remodeling and improvement. Thank God for someone like Councilman Shriver who just wants to do the right thing.

Mary SaenzSanta Monica

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