Ann Schwab’s argument in favor of Measure J – “to protect against the risk of losing” illegally collected tax revenues

25 Aug

Here is the “Statement of Accuracy” signed by those arguing in favor of Measure J – Mayor Ann Schwab and councillors Holcombe, Gruendl, and Goloff. Jim Walker submitted a letter of consent.

A few weeks ago I received an e-mail with these documents attached – arguments FOR and AGAINST Measure J, the cell phone tax, submitted to the city clerk earlier this month.  None of them cut and pastable into my blog, so I’ve been hem-hawing around trying to figure out how to load them up. I hate to break this kind of news – I am not exactly a computer whiz kid.  Word Press is a wonderful forum, but there’s buttons I still haven’t figured out yet. 

So, I finally just took a picture of the above “Statement of Accuracy” sheet with my camera – you can see how that turned out. The “Argument in Favor” below had to be typed in from a window on the little “notepad” my kids gave me for Christmas.

The city clerk has said she can’t give me the cut and pastable versions cause she’s afraid I’ll “edit” them.  Well, I’ll assure you, I have typed this argument in very carefully, word for word, and this is what Ann Schwab has to say for herself. I will admit, I received this argument before the county clerk had assigned a letter to the measure, so I added the letter ‘J’.  Let’s discuss this over the next few weeks :

Argument in Favor of Measure J – Utility Users Tax

We recommend approval of Measure J to protect existing revenue to continue vital services for the residents of the City of Chico.

The City of chico is at risk of losing $900,000 each year if voters do not approve Measure J to modernize the language of it’s current Users Utility Tax (UUT) ordinance. This would represent a significant reduction in General Fund revenue. The primary purpose of amending the telephone users’ tax is to protect existing revenue for the General Fund. A loss of $900,000 a year would result in reduced police and fire services, road maintenance and park funds.

In recent years, there have been significant changes in both technology and billing practices. The use of wireless services and voice over internet protocol has become widespread, billing for local and long distance services  is frequently bundled, and long distance calls are not always billed based on time and distance, even for land lines.

To protect against the risk of losing tax revenues in the face of legal issues, approval of Measure J will modernize this existing tax to ensure that all users of communication services are treated the same, regardless of the type of technology they are using or billing practices employed by their providers.

This proposed amendment includes a slight rate reductionk, from 5% to 4.5%. This rate, if applied to the average cell phone bill of $50 per month, would equate to a monthly charge of $2.25 as opposed to the current charge of $2.50.

Vote yes for Measure J and protect existing police, fire, roads and parks in the City of Chico.

11 Responses to “Ann Schwab’s argument in favor of Measure J – “to protect against the risk of losing” illegally collected tax revenues”

  1. Joseph August 25, 2012 at 1:32 pm #

    Will there be a rebuttal? If so, who is writing it? Will they point out that Schwabster is trying to increase an illegal tax instead of decreasing a legal tax?

    • Juanita Sumner August 25, 2012 at 2:49 pm #

      Yes there is an Argument Against AND a rebuttal, both from Mark Sorensen. I’m sorry I didn’t post this link before – it’s all here:

      I’m not too happy with Sorensen’s arguments against, they’re pretty weak. I could have done a better job, but according to the city clerk, council members are given priority over members of the public in these tasks. Sorensen jumped on it. At first I thought that was mighty public spirited of him, but when I read his arguments, I was disappointed.

      I’ll keep posting them here as I get around to it. We need to cut them up and use them to write letters to the editor. As of Labor Day, Dave Little is cutting everybody off at one “election related” letter, so you might try to get something in this week, and maybe he’ll give you another letter after Labor Day.

      I don’t expect him to be fair with me – as far as I’m concerned, Little has lost his objectivity, I won’t be surprised by anything he does in future. Also, the Enterprise Record is declining, losing subscribers, so it’s not the best platform anymore. I’m not going to depend on the ER anymore, I’m also going to send letters to anybody I know who lives in the city and would be subject to this tax.

      Thanks for keeping the conversation going, I been distracted with other things today!

      • Joeseph August 25, 2012 at 5:12 pm #

        Dang! Yet another bond measure for the government run youth propaganda camps, I see.

        I’m glad I am currently renting.

      • Juanita Sumner August 26, 2012 at 5:29 am #

        Well, I’ll admit, as a landlady, I pass the cost of those bonds, along with my entire property tax bill, along to my tenants. I start with mortgage payment, add tax “obligation,” throw in the insurance and whatever utilities I pay, and that’s how I come up with my rent figure. Then I look on Craig’s list, and slice off some for that competitive edge.

        You know, I homeschooled my kids, because I think we agree on the state of public education – “youth propaganda camps.” But now they are in Butte College, and that’s more of the same. Oh well, at least they’re a little older now, and they’ve had the chance to form their own opinions before being blustered at for 50 minutes with somebody else’s agenda.

  2. Joseph August 26, 2012 at 7:28 pm #

    Most cost increases get passed on to the consumer. This is something the DemoNrats just don’t seem to understand. And voters are often pretty stupid, too. They seem to think bonds are free money. Every election or two it seems there is a school bond and they mostly seem to pass.

    Yes, renters will feel the pain. But the one nice thing about renting is that it makes leaving much easier.

    • Juanita Sumner August 27, 2012 at 5:59 am #

      I can’t believe people pass bonds – the proponents will tell you, a bond is not a tax! The HELL!

      I’ve been pretty busy with Measure J – the phone tax grab – but I’m going to have to kick this bond around a little too, at least get some facts out there – like, we’ve got a superintendent who makes almost $200,000 a year, and she has a minimum of two “assistants”, that I know of, who make over $100,000 each. They passed a bond 10 years ago telling us we’d have a new high school, but what we got instead was more kids shoved into the two existing high schools – they built UP instead of OUT!

      Thanks for bringing this up, I’ll blog it as soon as I get more stuff up about Measure J.

      • Joseph August 27, 2012 at 12:14 pm #

        I’m not very familiar with local bond measures but I know at the state level those bonds can wind up making whatever is being funded twice as costly when the interest and fees from the bond are included.

        This is just an insane way to fund anything except if there is some kind of dire emergency.

        I have always voted no to all bond measures and probably always will.

        And don’t get me started about the public schools! Well, too late…

        The kids are never placed first in the public schools. It’s the bureaucrats and unions that come first. The insane salaries you pointed out are an example of that.

        And no matter how poorly public schools perform the answer is ALWAYS MORE MONEY! The worse the performance the more justification there is for more money from those in this corrupt system but no matter how much money they are allowed to steal it will never be enough.

        And what’s interesting is with the advances in computer and telecommunications technology the cost of education should be falling but instead it is increasing (just ask anyone attending college).

        Every major institution in this country is corrupt and inefficient and education is no exception. It didn’t take long for me to form that conclusion either. It all started with the crappy public schools I had to attend as a child.

        And at these “schools” I considered myself lucky if I could just make it through the day without getting verbally or physicially assaulted.

        When I was in 3rd grade my nose was so badly broken by an older “student” that to this day I still can’t breath out of it properly. I bled for hours.

        A while back, my neighbor’s 2nd grade kid had his fingers broken by another “student.” The assaulter was suspended for 2 days and considered it a vacation.

        So 40 years later nothing has changed. Why is this tolerated? Imagine what would happen if a business tolerated assaults on its customers, especially children. Yet that is normal at the gummit “schools.”

        Government “education” is a disgrace and furthers child abuse yet the idiot Amerikan public continually demands more and more money for this corrupt and evil system instead of its abolition.

      • Juanita Sumner August 27, 2012 at 1:31 pm #

        Joseph, sometimes I think I should just hire you to write my blog – you take the words right out of my head!

        First of all, I’m with you – bonds should be for a specific item deemed absolutely necessary by two thirds of the voters and then given a sunset date that is indisputable. They did that with Measure A, the school bond, but years later changed their minds about what they would use the money for. That should be illegal. A number of citizens complained to the Butte County Grand Jury – and we just found out how completely nonsensical the Butte County Grand Jury really is. They declared, without doing any legal research, that it was okee-dokee for the school district to use the money collected from a use-specified bond in any way that they saw fit. Poo-poo-pee-doo!

        I’m also in agreement with you as far as the quality and safety of our schools. Study after study shows children learn more from their parents and other significant extended family and friends. I think, in our modern society, school is supposed to dumb children down and teach them the pack mentality, so that they are more easily controlled.

        I think school can be a good thing to teach children to work together and live as a community of adults, but school is only as good as the adults who run it, and these days, especially as towns get bigger, it’s strangers instead of parents and friends.

        Here in Chico the pack mentality extends to the parents who “take over” schools and turn them into “charter schools” – they still get our tax dollars, but they get to pick and choose who they allow to attend. What else would you call a waiting list?

        And no, schools aren’t safe. Our public school friends have told us plenty of stories – from bullies at the elementary school to drugs at the junior high to sex at high school. I spent alot of time around playgrounds when my kids were little, and I saw completely dysfunctional behavior, sometimes they were looking right at me when they did it. I’ve even seen parents bully other kids in defense of their kids – but never in front of the other parents, only when they thought they were alone.

        Our modern schools seem to reinforce and intensify the worst of human traits instead of reflect the core values of America – independence and cooperation, compassion for our neighbors, pride in our work, in our community. Today it seems to be all about the individual and what they can grab for themselves.

      • Joseph August 27, 2012 at 2:47 pm #

        A guy named John Taylor Gatto has written much about education and everyone ought to read at least some of what he has written.

        Here is an article and an interview

        If you search his name you’ll find a ton more stuff.

        If you get a chance have a look at those 2 links.

      • Juanita Sumner August 28, 2012 at 5:00 am #

        thanks, I checked that out – sometimes it’s nice to read somebody who says what you’re already thinking.

        but for now, it’s time to go downtown and mau mau the flak catchers – wait til you read what Toby Schindelbeck found out downtown – I’ll post it later – malfeasance people, I’m talking malfeasance!

      • Joseph August 28, 2012 at 9:03 pm #

        Speaking of how evil and absurd the government run youth propaganda camps known as public schools are you HAVE to see this.

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