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Bay Area Leaders Denounce Proposition 10.

SACRAMENTO, Calif.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Oct. 23, 1998--The Committee Against Unfair Taxes announced that several prominent Bay Area residents have joined a diverse statewide coalition against Proposition 10, which would create 59 new separate state and county commissions to administer $700 million in new taxes.

"Smoking should be discouraged," declared State Senator Quentin Kopp (I-San Francisco), who voted to ban smoking in bars and restaurants. "This initiative, however, represents ballot-box budgeting at its worst and merits rejection."

Prop. 10 programs -- which could employ up to 8,000 people -- are exempt from outside audits, spending limits, civil service regulations, and legislative oversight. Furthermore, over 80 percent of Prop. 10 revenue goes to programs that have nothing to do with smoking prevention, according to the Legislative Analysts Office.

Kopp was joined by Jane Armstrong, the chair of the Alliance of California Taxpayers and Involved Voters, Black Leadership Forum director Dr. Caesar Churchwell, John Wolfe, the Executive Vice-President of the Contra Costa County Taxpayers Association, and Arthur Geen, the Executive Vice-President of the Alameda County Taxpayers Association.

"Proposition 10 creates a system tailor-made for abuse," said Jane Armstrong, the chair of the Alliance of California Taxpayers and Involved Voters. "It's a heaven-sent situation for any political appointee who ever dreamed of having hundreds of millions of new tax dollars to spend."

Prop. 10 programs -- which could employ up to 8,000 people -- are exempt from outside audits, spending limits, civil service regulations, and legislative oversight.

"Now is the time to invest in our schools, not divert tax money to new, vague, unsupervised programs and committees," said Caesar Churchwell, a San Francisco dentist and an official of the Black Leadership Forum.

Prop. 10 exempts itself from Prop. 98 requirements that reserve about 40 percent of tax money for K-12 education.

"The creation of huge, expensive new bureaucracies is unjustified," said John Wolfe, Executive Vice President of the Contra Costa County Taxpayers Association.

Over 40 percent of tobacco products are sold at small convenience marts. By one analysis, these "mom-and-pop" stores would lose an average of $35,000 in the first year alone if Prop. 10 passes, forcing many to go out of business.

"We need to bring businesses back to our community, but Prop. 10 would hit small entrepreneurs the hardest," said Arthur Geen of the Alameda County Taxpayers Association.
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Publication:Business Wire
Date:Oct 23, 1998
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