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Protect Our County by Voting ‘No’ on Measure E. It’s a Tax to Benefit an Elite Few.



Fresno businessman Brooke Ashjian describes Measure E as a wolf in sheep's clothing that's designed to benefit a wealthy few. (GV Wire Composite/Paul Marshall)
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Our democracy is on the ballot in Fresno County, and it’s disguised as Measure E.

Brooke Ashjian


While it’s being promoted as a path to prosperity for Fresno State and its students, a closer look reveals it to be a hefty sales tax on our working poor designed to empower and enrich an elite few.

Proponents claim Measure E will attract Fresno State enrollment, create jobs, and stimulate local commerce. If it did not come with strings, this would be very exciting, and no one would oppose it. But there is no such thing as a free lunch.

The measure shifts tax burdens from the entire State of California directly to our county’s working poor, who are among the most impoverished people in the entire country. The increase also disproportionately affects people who do not have money to run their own million-dollar campaign advertisements in opposition.

So, who is behind the push to shift this colossal burden?

Well, none other than the Fresno elite who stand to directly benefit from the plum Fresno State building and improvement contracts that will follow and those cushy $81,000-a-year board seats their friends will fill on the new oversight board.

These people will not think twice about their sales taxes going up. After all, they’re paying millions of dollars in advertising to convince you to vote in favor of more taxes. Why would they do that? Well, these local elite want to shift the concentration of power from our elected Legislature’s control over our California State University system directly into the hands of wealthy developers and their cronies.

Don’t these unelected people have enough real power over local politics already?

With this tax, the few paying to prop up Measure E stand to benefit the most. It’s not a surprise.

As we deliberate on the fate of Measure E, let us not forget a critical question: Why would any individual invest millions in a measure to raise your taxes?  What benefit could they possibly derive?

The fragile balance of our democracy resides in our collective vigilance and voice. Once these elites take power from you and our Legislature, do you think they will ever give it up? Together, we must safeguard our county and our beloved Fresno State.

No on Measure E! It’s a tax and NO MORE TAXES!

About the Author

Brooke Ashjian is a Fresno businessman and the former board president of Fresno Unified School District.

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