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Fishy Reasoning

For farmers, water is money. When you get a 55% water allocation like farmers in Westlands are getting, that's equivalent to a 45% additional tax.

Apr 15, 2019

Today is Tax Day in America.  We support paying our taxes and doing our share for the common good.  If you're not a farmer you will pay your federal and state income tax in addition to all the other taxes we all pay like sales, gas, property, estate, alcohol, tobacco, hotel, capital gains, medicare, social security, garbage, sewer...and we could go on.  And that's not to mention all the taxes being considered by the California legislature...things like new tires, firearms, water, preion painkillers, lawyers and car batteries.

If you're a farmer you're also getting taxed on your water.  You're paying for the systems that have been built to get it to you and you're also paying a heavier tax on the water you're not getting.  What do we mean?  For farmers, water is money.  When you get a 55% water allocation like farmers in Westlands are getting, that's equivalent to a 45% additional tax.  It's like paying for a full tank of gas and getting half a tank.

That's bad enough.  But it's even worse when you see what we're getting for the sacrifice.  Farmers give up water to help the fish or the bay-delta.  Then we see headlines like this:  2 lawsuits take aim at state’s plan to flush 300,000 acre feet of water in bid to add just 1,103 more fish.  That's not a great return on investment.  If the government were paying farmers to grow fish, they would never make that deal.  

That's not the first time we've seen headlines like that.  Remember this from 2015?  $100,000 Per Fish!!! - According to the Modesto Bee the project could cost $70 million to $150 million and benefit 500 to 1000 salmon.

Or this one:  The $2 million Fish - The water was worth $21,000,000.  It saved 9 fish.  Do the math. Over $2 million per fish.

There are never any consequences for failed water policy decisions by California water bureaucrats.  Matter of fact, the worse they do, the more they are rewarded with more water to do with as they wish, which is generally to flush it through the delta and out to sea.  

Anyway, happy tax day.

Going native: Fishy reasoning behind the state’s Stanislaus River water grab

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