Letters to the Editor

Pet licenses are too expensive already. Sacramento is about to make it worse

Pet licenses

Re “Sacramento is about to crack down on unlicensed pets, and the new fines are no joke” (sacbee.com, June 9): The decision to crack down pet licensing including penalties for noncompliance is unfair. Many people simply adopt strays that wander in off the streets. I have adopted at least a dozen cats, including some I've had to put down. I could never afford $20 for licenses every year. Where will these payments go? The general fund to support the basket ball arena?

Susan Bush, Sacramento

Drug prices

Re "The difference between life and death for diabetics” (Vewpoints, June 9): Healthcare costs are on the minds of many Californians, but, as when buying a car, the cost and the list price can differ greatly. By focusing on list prices, Sen, Ed Hernandez distorts true costs, failing to ask whether drug discounts and rebates reach patients, or are pocketed by middlemen. As middlemen demand bigger rebates to make medicine accessible at a reasonable co-pay, list prices often go up to meet demand. One Novo Nordisk insulin has increased 270 percent in list price since 2003, but that increase falls to 3 percent after discounts and rebates. How much of the 267 percent difference is kept by middlemen like pharmacy benefit managers and not passed on to patients? No bill before the Legislature, including Hernandez’s, will give the public any insight. We urge the Assembly to reject SB 17 as written.

Sara Radcliffe, California Life Sciences Association, Sacramento

Civil servants

Re “Legislators’ plan to gut a tax board seems solid. But here’s a cautionary note.” (Editorials, June 11): Although the Board of Equalization is in executive turmoil, please remember that there are thousands of hard working staff members proudly serving the people of California.

Karen Fabiano, Sacramento

Tax board

It will be a sad day for democracy if the Legislature votes to disempower our elected Board of Equalization. The board is apparently guilty of spending too much money on outreach to business entrepreneurs who must collect the sales tax, which provides a substantial amount of state revenue. As a personal property tax collected at the point of sale, sales tax revenue relies on private businesses to do a public service. Is it better for elected officials to do the necessary outreach and education, or for appointed civil servants? Elected officials have a legitimate self-interest in outreach that serves the need of democratic government to be responsible to the people. Without the involvement of elected officials, there will be less government interest in outreach to new and developing businesses created by the internet. The result could be more sales tax evasion and less revenue.

Allen Davenport, Sacramento

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