Fremont passes second tax in two months

Watch out you big government Scandinavians, Fremont is hot on your trail. First residents overwhelmingly approved a tax hike on hotel guests, now property owners have passed a tax hike to join the vermin-fighting Alameda County Vermin Control District.

If only the council would propose another utility tax and promise to spend the money killing rats at city hotels, Fremont could pay its firefighters $200,000 a year.

The Vector Control vote means that single-family homeowners will see another $10 tacked onto their property tax bill. For anyone who yacks at the City Council for wanting to tax tax tax, let the record show that the council, which has final say for city-owned properties, voted against the tax.

Most property owners didn’t bother voting. Out of 52,813 ballots mailed, only 12,606 were returned. That’s. 23.87 percent. 66 percent of respondents voted yes, while 33 voted no.

Matt Artz


  1. Count me in the 12,606 and part of the 33% who voted no. Why do only single-family homes get taxed? It seems that higher density developments, i.e., apartments, condos, etc. should be taxed as well since they are certainly prone to attracting vermin just as readily as single-family homes, and maybe even more so given the density.

  2. The Voters of Fremont elected the Mayor and City Council Members, so no whining please.
    You get what you voted for…..

  3. We received a separate Vector Control “ballot” in the mail. We were to check yes or no and mail it back. I don’t believe this was on the November 4th ballot. I am sure many people took it as junk mail and tossed it without realizing what it was.

    In this case we got what many didn’t vote for, one way or the other.

  4. This is a superb example of why a super-majority for new taxes serves the public interest. While only 23.8 % responded, a trend is established, and that trend is that if everyone were to vote, a simple majority would likely have been achieved.

    Imagine if 50.01 % of the 12,606 people who returned ballots was sufficient. That’s 6,300 people telling the other 46,500 that the are going to be taxed.

    I am a proponent of voter participation, but nowhere in our constitution does it require citizens to visit firehouses every year or so in order protect their earnings from the Gov.

  5. I don’t think there’s such thing as a tax tyranny of those who bother to vote. The polls I’ve seen show non-voters to lean far more towards being Democrat than voters. I think more than 50% + 1 is a good thing, though 2/3 is too high a bar. 55% would be a much better target.

  6. A curious fellow once said – “Nor is the peoples judgment always true: the most may err as grossly as the few.”

    I believe Debs was his name.

  7. I think Jon sums it up well. Democrats would like to spend other people’s money, but following up their incessant complaining with an actual vote is not likely, so taxes remain at manageable levels 😉

  8. On this blog, the complainers are republicans and libertarians. Didn’t you notice?

    A better summing up is that, when it comes to government, Democrats thing we rise together. Republicans think we each rise on our own.

  9. “A good politician under democracy is quite as unthinkable as an honest burglar.”
    – H.L. Mencken

    “The best argument against democracy is a five minute conversation with the average voter.”
    – Winston Churchill

  10. Actually, I think Jon is choosing to ignore that Eugene Debs was very much a socialist and influenced by the work and thinking of Karl Marx. Debs could not have been defined as “elitist” by any except one who seeks to grind a particular political position.

    See my post of 12/31 8:04 AM

  11. That is a good summation, Jon. One view is Utopian and the other is one of a realist.

  12. So – we’re in agreement – mine is not a completely “elitist” position – as you had previously suggested.

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