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Getting By: The Sunshine Tax

Did you know that average wages in 1972 were 30 percent higher in the county than the nation? A SANDAG study revealed that local wages haven't kept up with inflation. In 2005, the county average was only five percent higher than the national average. And to top it all off, San Diego County is one of the most expensive places to live in the country.

Do you think the high cost of living in San Diego comes from the "sunshine tax," the price we pay for good weather? Is it worth it?

Tammy from Allied Gardens, Calif.
October 08, 2008 at 06:41 PM
The Sunshine Tax is very real. And I can do without it. I live on the border of East County, so I get a little too much sunshine. It's HOT, HOT, HOT. I grew up in Southern California, so I live here because that's where my roots are. I want my kids to grow up near their cousins, aunts, uncles and grandparents. I guess I pay the "Free Babysitting" tax instead. Maybe I take the sunshine for granted because I'm so used to it. But a litte rain starts to sound nice when we're in the middle of a Santa Ana.


Patricia M. Vainik from Chula Vista
October 08, 2008 at 10:28 PM
In Chula Vista there are signature gatherers canvassing shopping centers collecting signatures to "bring jobs to Chula Vista". When you read the fine print, what they're pushing is a requirement to allow low wage, no benefit jobs to be part of bid packages for local public projects. People are signing these petitions not realizing that they're signing their future prosperity away so that developers can increase their own profit margins. We are stupidly signing on to our own race to to the bottom. We need living wage jobs with benefits so that families can make the rent without having every adult in the household working two jobs just to keep food on the table. Any job at any cost is just too costly for our society.

Joanne Faryon
October 08, 2008 at 11:49 PM
Hey Patricia, thanks for your comments. When we were researching this topic, we learned that for every high paying job created in the county, eight low paying jobs were created. We also learned nearly 40 per cent of the jobs in the county don't pay enough for a person to live here. I urge you to watch our show Thursday, Oct 23 at 8pm on KPBS TV or you can even be in our audience for the taping, same night at 5:30 pm. go to for details

Megan Malone from point loma
October 09, 2008 at 11:31 PM
Absolutly I believe there is a sunshine tax. I grew up in a nother state, moved here when I got married. Almost 5 years ago we saw that if i didn't return to the workforce we wouldn't be able to live here. I went to school and got a nursing degree. By the time I graduated this year we knew we made the right decision. Between gas, food, high rent, had i not done this we would be calling ourselves Texans by now.