May 28th, 2016 Press Democrat Opinion: http://www.pressdemocrat.com/opinion/5532822-181/thursdays-letters-to-the-editor
Wine, taxes and tourists
EDITOR: Reading the article about Rep. Mike Thompson introducing a bill to lower taxes on the wine industry was absolutely disgusting (“Big breaks bubbling up,” Tuesday). The wine industry is a great contributor to the local economy — but at a severe cost.
Tourists who visit wineries jam the roads, causing excessive wear and tear in their tour buses. Our law enforcement officers are stretched thin with incidents caused by too much consumption at the wineries, and the environment suffers from the farming methods employed as well as the pollution created by the tourists.
Sunday’s Close to Home column by Padi Selwyn (“Growing pains in a tourism economy”) spelled out the limited number who benefit from the tourist industry, and the wineries are certainly a part of that elite group. No amount of tax that the wineries pay offsets the costs they create.
Also, the obvious conflict of interest that Thompson exposes (he owns a winery) brings his integrity into question. No, not really. There is no question. He seems to have lost any that he may have had.
R. L. DARLING