Luxury housing for the middle class?
Re “Luxury complex planned to rise in downtown” (Page 2A, Bob Shallit, Jan. 28): The Sacramento City Council has a goal of adding 10,000 housing units to the downtown core. It has been said that this goal will bring more workers closer to their workplaces and energize downtown.
This proposal on the corner of 15th and Q streets is described as a luxury 73-unit, eight-story residential building. Rents for the new development are said to range from $2,000 to $4,500 a month. Do the city and the developer seriously believe that these rates are affordable by folks considered middle class?
Given that one of the largest employers in downtown Sacramento is the state of California, I hardly believe these workers will be able to afford such high rents on an average state employee salary. Where is the affordable housing for the truly middle-class folks who work downtown and would like to live close to their place of employment?
Sharon-Jane Matthews, Sacramento
Economic anxiety part of problem
Re “American Dream isn’t gone yet” (Viewpoints, Feb. 2): Michael Gerson is right about economic anxiety. With housing, medical costs and other things so expensive, wages being flat and job insecurity so high, people are worried about losing their cars, their homes and their jobs. I agree we need to correctly diagnose the problem in order to find solutions.
Putting Wall Street criminals in shackles may not solve our economic woes, but it would give the American people some level of comfort that the criminal justice system is working for them. Right now, all they see is that the guys who helped wreck the economy in 2008 ended up getting rewarded while most of us are suffering.
Preparing people for a difficult and different economy is a worthy goal, but there is a lot of work that needs to be done now that could create jobs, if we had the will. Just look at our crumbling roads.
Playing chicken with taxes
Re “Questions remain on tax burden” (Insight, Dan Walters, Feb. 1): Taxation is like a double-edged sword. If the rate is too low, California won’t have enough revenue to maintain vital public services. If the rate is too high, then you trigger a death spiral where the most productive among us have no incentive to work. Regardless, the zeitgeist in Sacramento seems to favor a perpetual game of chicken when it comes to taxes. People need consistency.
Scientific evidence suggests that determining the optimal tax rate for economic growth addresses only half the question. The other half of the equation is to consider how efficiently revenue is spent. Given the recent budget surplus and the fact that Californians pay some of the highest taxes in the nation, it seems to me that lawmakers should focus on providing value for the many dollars we send to Sacramento.
Animal owners’ rights at risk
The California Veterinary Medical Board wants to make it a violation for anyone except a veterinarian to perform animal massage, water therapy or any complementary practices for animals. Even vet referrals to a non-veterinarian would be a violation. If the board succeeds, practitioners would be fined and prosecuted, costs to see a vet for these services would be prohibitive, and animal owners would be left without access to the beneficial health-related services we currently use for our animals.
We need a legislative bill to protect the rights of animal owners. California animal owners, please tell everyone about these pending regulations. Get more info at www.calaaor.com, the website for the California Alliance for Animal Owners Rights.
Tiana K. Gutierrez,
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