Will 2018 finally be the year the public rises up and throws off the tax pigs?

5 Feb

Busy little bees.

How many agencies in Chico are planning to put revenue measures on the general ballot, or mailed assessment ballots? So far we’ve got Chico Chamber of Commerce/Tom Lando stumping for a sales tax increase as high as 3/4 of a cent. Then there’s Chico Area Recreation District – I haven’t found out yet whether they will put their measure on the general ballot or mail ballots to property owners. And of course, as I predicted with the passage of Measure K in 2016, Chico Unified School District has again been discussing a revenue measure.

And then there’s the shadowy “Everybody Healthy Body” group that is trying to raise money to purchase a giant property just south of the Chico City Limits, for a sports complex. So far they’ve only raised $2 million through private donors, but they keep saying they aren’t going to ask for public money. 

If you believe that I got a burn dump I’d like to sell you.

Remember, these junkies can never get enough. Within months of the passage of bond Measure K in November 2016, CUSD finance manager Kevin Bultema told me “The increase PERS and STRS costs are certainly a challenge for the district’s operations budget and will need to be addressed with either increased revenues from the state or cuts in CUSD’s program expenditures in the future.”

And how has the school board responded to the pension crisis? From the Enterprise Record, June 2017;

“The board also voted to ratify a tentative agreement with the Chico Unified Teachers Association. That agreement will collapse the salary schedule, reducing the years of service necessary for a teacher to reach their maximum salary. The new salary schedule is more competitive compared to other districts and will allow Chico Unified to attract more teachers, Assistant Superintendent of Human Resources Jim Hanlon said.”

Oh good, the teachers get more money, which raises the cost of their pension. Get ready for the hand to come out.

Both the city and CARD have also continued to hand out raises to staff. When will these pigs ever have enough?

So, we’re gassing up the old buggy and getting ready to oppose this stuff.  Helllllllooooooo?

 

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12 Responses to “Will 2018 finally be the year the public rises up and throws off the tax pigs?”

  1. Rob February 5, 2018 at 10:45 am #

    Well Juanita, I did as you advised, and signed up for the meeting notices. I’m free in the afternoons so I signed up for the Internal Affairs Committee notices. First notice I got:

    CONSIDERATION OF OPTIONS TO UPDATE CHICO MUNICIPAL CODE (CMC) 14.20.030 – SIDEWALK
    SECTION
    Chico Municipal Code (CMC) Section 14.20.030 currently states that property owners are responsible for maintaining the sidewalk adjacent to their parcel or property. In many cases, sidewalk damage has been caused by root growth or expansion from a nearby City street tree. The current CMC does not specify property owner responsibility when the damage is caused by a City street tree, leaving much ambiguity.
    Staff is seeking review of the current sidewalk code and maintenance program to ensure the City is providing the best level of service to the community, while managing an appropriate level of risk. (Report – Erik Gustafson)

    Property owners are responsible for the city sidewalk adjacent to their house? Since when? And now, it sounds like Gustafson is trying to make the property owner responsible for damage due to city trees as well. Last summer they had the nerve to ask property owners, with drought restrictions on our water bills, to water city street trees as well. On a “volunteer basis” – when will they require us to water their trees too?

    You and Bob are right – they rip us off in a thousand ways we don’t even know. We do need eyes in the back of our heads.

    • Juanita Sumner February 5, 2018 at 10:55 am #

      Thanks Rob! I got that notice too, but am not able to attend, I’ll try to ask for the report of that meeting. There’s a lot of meetings this week, including a big agenda for the Local Governments Committee Wednesday afternoon. That’s always a good meeting to attend – 3:30 if you can make it.

      In Willows, my mother was not only responsible for the sidewalk, but the tree. When the sidewalk buckled in front of her house, the repair was added to her property tax bill,, and, she was told that if she didn’t replace the old tree within a certain amount of time, they were going to plant one and charge her way beyond the cost of the tree. She had cancer and died before she could plant the tree, but one of her last orders for me was to plant that tree before the city of Willows could screw her in the grave. So my husband and I drove to the local nursery, where they had the list of trees allowed. We bought the cheapest one – $15 – and planted it, then continued to water it until we sold the house.

      The government is a pack of vultures.

      UPDATE: my husband corrected me – my mother only paid for the concrete, the city repaired the sidewalk at no charge. But, she would have had to pay for labor if she hadn’t planted the tree. That seems fair – I don’t expect city of Chico to be that small-town about it. In Willows, the employees still call you “Hon” on the phone.

  2. bob February 5, 2018 at 2:53 pm #

    It’s amazing. The voters in the last election voted to increase the taxes on their homes $270 million for CUSD. That’s OVER A QUARTER OF A BILLION DOLLARS! (And that does NOT include the bond measure they passed to increase the taxes on their homes for Butte College.)

    And guess what? CUSD “only” gets $152 million of that. The rest goes for interest and for fees to the white shoe boys on Wall Street. How do you feel about having $118 million of your tax dollars going for that? Not a penny of that $118 million will go to CUSD!

    All Measure K did was encourage the corrupt CUSD to demand even more money! And the idiot voters passed that flawed measure after passing another bond measure for CUSD to build a new high school they never built. Well, what the hell did they do with all that money?

  3. Jim February 5, 2018 at 3:09 pm #

    Most of the public has no idea any of this is going on. Even the folks who follow politics, only follow national politics as spoon fed by the cable TV. It was a surprise for the majority of the Chico population when the garbage tax went into effect. That is how and why the municipal rats keep getting away with this.

    • bob February 5, 2018 at 8:41 pm #

      Agreed. The public doesn’t pay attention to local government unless there’s some scandal.

      And when it comes to local government the local media reports what the politicians and bureaucrats tell them.

      For the most part, when it comes to local governmental issues, the local media is apathetic, ignorant and lazy.

      • Juanita Sumner February 6, 2018 at 5:38 am #

        I agree – the public isn’t exactly eager for the information, but I think if we had a better media here, more people would act.

        I’ll tell you how I got into all this – I homeschooled my kids. When it came to “civics” I had one textbook, from 1949. So I realized, all these public meetings, children are allowed as long as they are well-behaved. So we went. Sometimes my husband went too. My kids actually paid attention and understood – they even got behind a few issues, like the disc golf courses at 5 Mile and Peregrine Point. Now they might not go to meetings, but they understand a lot more about how the government works. Me too!

  4. bob February 6, 2018 at 6:45 pm #

    “The board also voted to ratify a tentative agreement with the Chico Unified Teachers Association. That agreement will collapse the salary schedule, reducing the years of service necessary for a teacher to reach their maximum salary.”

    This was what Measure K was all about: raises and more money for the pensions but of course it was sold as a measure for school maintenance, upgrades and of course “for the children.” And the voters bought it hook, line and sinker.

    And predictably, passage of the measure only encourages people like Bultema demand even more money.

    • Juanita Sumner February 6, 2018 at 7:58 pm #

      It’s addict behavior. A lady from a rehab hospital came to speak to my health class at Chico State. She also described enabler behavior – if the voters put up with this it’s enabling

  5. bob February 6, 2018 at 7:43 pm #

    Here’s the latest from Dan Walters about the pension crisis (published a couple days ago)

    https://calmatters.org/articles/commentary-surging-pension-costs-push-california-cities-toward-bankruptcy/

    “Studies indicate that costs of police pensions could increase by 50 percent within a few years and even double as CalPERS continues to deal with a large “unfunded liability”—essentially a debt—for pension promises.

    A new study for the League of California Cities, conducted by a consulting firm, Bartel Associates, projects that over the next seven years overall city pension costs, excluding health care, will nearly double, reaching an average of 15.8 percent of their general fund budgets by 2024-25. Costs for police and fire personnel will climb to well over 60 percent of payroll.”

    • Juanita Sumner February 7, 2018 at 6:32 am #

      Yep.

      • bob February 7, 2018 at 11:04 am #

        If they can’t even keep the roads from falling apart now, what the heck is going to happen when pension costs DOUBLE??? And that excludes the increasing healthcare costs!

      • Juanita Sumner February 7, 2018 at 2:19 pm #

        I’m no economic expert, but I don’t think the economy can sustain this kind of imbalance for long. I know my family has no extra spending money, it’s all going to our groceries, utilities, gas and taxes. We have no healthcare savings – we’re still paying off the last emergency. I know we’re not the only people in this situation because the lines are long at the discount food stores, and the people we see aren’t on welfare, they’re working people trying to make that dollar stretch as far as possible.

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