Dan Walters: The “p-word”

10 Jun

As we could have predicted, local agencies all over California are out to raise tax revenues to cover their pension deficit. According to Dan Walters,


“The California Taxpayers Association counted 98 proposals to raise local taxes directly, or indirectly through issuance of bonds that would require higher property taxes to repay.”

Walters predicts more on the November 2018 ballot. He says most tax proponents are afraid to mention the “p-word”, instead making rainbow promises about public safety and infrastructure maintenance.

Ha ha, the p-word, that’s good. 

Here we have Chico Chamber, Chico Unified School District, and Chico Area Recreation District all banging pots for their tax increases. The Chamber is running a campaign on behalf of the city of Chico  to put a sales tax increase on a ballot.  CUSD is talking about still another bond measure for the ballot, having just passed about $150 million bond back in 2016.  CARD wants to mail assessment ballots to property owners to see if they will tax themselves. 

All three talk about vast improvements they will make with the money, but only the Chamber of Commerce is mentioning pension deficit. They want $3 million for more hires to the police department, $90 million to fix roads – and $130 million to pay down the pension deficit. They argue that we, as a community, should accept this pension deficit as our shared responsibility, all the while threatening us with increasing crime and lower quality of life if we don’t pay more.


The school district denied my claims that the Measure K bond money would go toward pensions instead of the kids.  But they started crying poor mouth almost immediately after the passage of Measure K, citing increasing demands from CalPERS and CalSTRS to pay more into their pensions. School finance officer Kevin Bultema told me only three months after the election, “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.” 

CARD has followed their consultants’ advice, trying to get the media to portray them as fiscally sound when they are not. How about the spin they put on a $641,000 deficit increase with this story in the Enterprise Record.


So you see, Walters is right, they’re coming at us with all kind of whack. The most disconcerting is the proposal from Davis, California, that school employees should be exempt from paying parcel tax! 

This is going to go up their ass, just watch. Working people will only take so much. 


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