Archive | March, 2012

Let’s increase revenues without increasing taxes

4 Mar

We had a great meeting at the library today and again I want to thank everybody who came down.

Something that really impresses me is the diversity of this group, people who have had disagreements in the past, who take time out from their personal schedules to work together toward a common goal. These people are hard workers.

Today we had a great discussion about ways in which the city could address our current deficit without raising the sales tax.

First, there’s the need to reduce expenditures. We all realize we need certain staff services, but we also know there are problems with the current contracts. We’d like to see to see more employees, at lower salaries, who pay a bigger share of their own healthcare and pension premiums, instead of a few highly paid individuals who constantly complain that they can’t serve us adequately because they are short of staff.  There is an opportunity coming up this year to re-negotiate the generous contracts that were made behind closed doors during the boom years, before the “sunshine” laws required sharing the contracts with the public. We’d like to see some “flexibility” in dealing with these contracts, instead of being held off by the forehead by our elected leaders and staff and told that renegotiating  our way out of this mess, created by salaries and benefits, would be “reneging on our promises…”

We also discussed ways in which the city could raise revenues without putting the squeeze on taxpayers. We believe they could go farther to promote business and therefore generate more sales tax through increased sales instead of increased tax. I’ve seen the regulations and fees – yes, the city can come off as being hostile to business. This is a basic attitude problem.  Remember the WalMart conversation – Scott Gruendl asked WalMart for a million dollars, to be put toward swapping out woodstoves – in exchange for permission to expand on their own property in order to increase the amount of merchandise they could carry and therefore the amount of sales tax they could generate. The expansion would have allowed WalMart to carry a larger grocery selection, bringing in more customers who would also be exposed to more taxable goods. Our city staff and council need to adopt a more practical attitude toward promoting business instead of exploiting the very people who are willing to take risks to stimulate our local economy.

We’re planning another meeting next month, and we’re trying to line up some guest speakers. In the meantime, we’re trying to make council aware that we do not support this  tax, while trying at the same time to be part of the solution.  Keep writing those letters to the council and the newspaper, talk to your neighbors and friends.

Come on Down! Chico Taxpayers Assoc. meeting, Sunday, Chico Library, 11:30am

2 Mar

Sue sent in an interesting comment yesterday – she said a member of the Chico Tea Party Patriots had been contacted by a survey company regarding Tom Lando’s sales tax increase proposal.

The recipient was apparently asked if he’d like to have a sports complex, and felt the questions were generally leading.

If anybody else gets a call like this, please let us know via this website. Try to take notes of exactly what is said, and try to give them as little information as possible, even if you just have to say, “I’d rather not answer that question, are there other questions you’d like to ask…”

Before you hang up, be sure to let them know, you won’t support a sales tax increase for ANY purpose, and that you’ve contacted your council and told them to demand a petition.

And be sure to send any communications you’ve sent or received regarding this matter to the blogsite here, and I’ll post it.

Hope to see you all at the Chico library, this Sunday morning, 11:30. We’ll have a news update and we’ll talk about our next steps. We’ll keep it rolling and be out of there by 12:30. Come on down!