Learn the truth about the city’s proposed phone tax hike – it’s a G-snatch!

3 Jun

Well, best meeting EVER. It just keeps getting better, Folks. A wonderful group who was there to work, that’s what it takes.

Mark Sorensen answered some questions this morning, but raised others.  There is so much about the phone tax increase measure that does not make sense. And where can we get the answers? Our city attorney seems to be making the whole thing as convoluted as possible, I don’t think we can count on her for any help. She’s not our attorney anyway, she’s there to protect $taff and council from  us. “$taff” would include herself.

The first and foremost thing everybody needs to know about this measure is that it will INCREASE our taxes. While the text of the ballot proposition, in the first sentence, claims to be lowering our tax, it is also broadening the definition of what  can be taxed, therefore, increasing our  taxes.

City Attorney Lori Barker’s first measure was so deceptive she was asked to rewrite it. The newer version is more truthful, but still pretty vague:

“Shall an ordinance be adopted to amend the City’s Telephone User’s Tax in order to: 1) reduce the tax rate from 5% to 4.5%; 2) modernize the definition of telephone communication services subject to the tax to include new technologies such as wireless and voice over internet services; 3) apply the tax to all telephone communications regardless of the type of technology used; and 4) reflect changes to federal and state law? 

Yes, the new rate will be half a percent lower – Big  Flopping Whoopie.  And, there you see it, this tax will “include new technologies such as” Such as, when you read along in the report Barker made, includes whatever the Finance Director wants it to.

No, you can’t read the report unless you got a copy from the city clerk  before she took it off the website. I don’t know why it’s not on the website. In fact, I don’t know why there’s no records on the website right now for any meeting between December 2009 and the agenda that is posted for this coming Tuesday’s meeting. You can see the agendas on the viewer, where you watch the videos of the meetings, but no reports.  The reports are all taken off the website after the meeting, you have to ask the clerk if you want to see the reports. I just happen to have the copy she sent me before the meeting – I signed up to receive this stuff, or I wouldn’t have it.  I’d have to go Downtown and PAY to get a copy from the clerk.

They are being deceptive on this tax increase measure because they know if the voters get all the facts it will fail. They might even have to pay back the money they’ve been collecting illegally through AT&T for years.


They stand to lose big, so get ready for some pretty desperate measures and some cheap and dirty fighting.

4 Responses to “Learn the truth about the city’s proposed phone tax hike – it’s a G-snatch!”

  1. Mark Sorensen June 3, 2012 at 4:10 pm #

    Good discussion this morning…. There’s another advantage to my FREE email subscription service to Chico City Council Agendas:


    You can go there and see that most of the past notices contain an internet link to the entire Council Meeting Packet…. You can just click of the link to the packet for those prior meetings, and voilà.

    The one that you’re looking for is still on the city web site, you just need the link. Here it is:

    Click to access 5-1-12CityCouncilAgendaPacket.pdf

  2. Joseph June 3, 2012 at 5:45 pm #

    What is “…4) reflect changes to federal and state law?” going to mean for taxpayers?

    Is this yet another way they will be able to jack up the tax later?

    • Juanita Sumner June 4, 2012 at 5:24 am #

      Yeah, I’m no lawyer, but the way Barker has written that, it sounds like it will roll with any future changes to the state and federal laws. Maybe that’s a good thing?

      #2 is what implies that they will suck in any new technology that comes along, at the request of our Finance MisDirector. Great!

      The report attached to the resolution lays it out – available at Mark’s link. It’s just a regular can of worms.

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