Excessive taxation ruins the economy – time to act to reverse this trend

26 Jul

I saw Patrick Newman’s letter calling (jokingly I assume) for a limit on letters about President Trump. I had to laugh –  there have been letter writers, and probably requests made to the editor, to limit Newman’s letters. People have contacted the editors of both the ER and the N&R asking them to stop printing my letters. Some people only want to hear stuff they agree with, that’s nothing new. 

I have to agree with Newman’s assertion that people need to pay more attention to what’s going on locally. Not that federal matters are not important, but I feel a person can have more effect locally. And, as citizens become more powerful in local affairs, those localities become more powerful and have a bigger effect statewide, and eventually nationwide. 

I think excessive taxation is becoming a huge problem in Butte County, and the state of California, I wish more people would wake up and act. In the city of Sacramento, taxpayer groups who supported their sales tax Measure H quickly realized the funds weren’t being used as promised – too late, they’ve already approved the tax, and Mayor Darrell Steinberg has proposed even more taxes as a result. 

I think the root of excessive taxation is incompetent, insubordinate public employees who have fostered a negative and hostile environment for the rest of us. Their salaries and perks not only raise our taxes, but the salary imbalance makes a normal middle class lifestyle unaffordable for the rest of us.  These public salaries raise the price of everything from housing to groceries to healthcare. How can the family living on $43,000/year compete with public employees making in excess of $100,000/year? Especially when we are on the hook for their outrageous healthcare and pension packages.

Here’s an irony – most of us get by with catastrophic care, with huge co-pays, packages that won’t get us into a lot of hospitals. Hospitals and doctors can actually refuse our insurance.  Meanwhile we fund “defined benefit” health packages for public employees that guarantee them the best of care at top hospitals. 

What’s your retirement plan? Die? Well, as long as you live, you’ll be paying pensions of 70 -90% of $100,000+ public salaries. Our city manager, in his 50’s, is already making over $220,000 a year – do the math – if he retired tomorrow we’d be paying him $154,000/year, plus cost-of-living-adjustments, for the rest of his life. Unfortunately I’m afraid he has quite a few more years of self-service left in him, especially since he has what amounts to automatic annual pay raises based on a percentage of his salary. 

Currently more than 100 city employees receive salaries of $100 – 225,000/year. Another 25 make $90 – 99,000/year. These folks pay less than 10% of their pension cost, they want us to pay the rest in the form of a 1 cent sales tax increase. They say the money will be dedicated toward streets and safety, but even if they are sincere here, that just loosens up other money to be transferred into the Pension Stabilization Trust. And who can believe what they say when they promised to fix the streets with the trash tax but have instead transferred it into the General Fund? 

So we have a sales tax increase measure from the city of Chico and a parcel tax coming from the Chico Area Recreation District. Two regressive taxes aimed at the same population, neither agency having any concern for the economy.

Newman is right – get involved locally. There are a lot of meetings, scheduled at different times, at which you can not only learn more about how these agencies operate, but you can get into the conversation. Check out the schedules and agendas at these links:

http://www.chico.ca.us/government/minutes_agendas.asp

https://www.chicorec.com/board-meetings

 

7 Responses to “Excessive taxation ruins the economy – time to act to reverse this trend”

  1. Jim July 26, 2019 at 2:06 pm #

    Your comments are always so spot on. Local taxes are regressive, that is they affect low income people the most.

  2. s.k. rushing July 26, 2019 at 7:10 pm #

    Dear JuanitaI crossed paths with a friend who is a retired Ventura County Sheriff. He’s been retired for many years and he laughed when I told how much he was being “over-paid”. He admitted he “won the lottery.” He could not help bragging about his salary, benefits, and early retirement. My friend did not invent the taxpayer abusive pension system but he was not shy about taking full advantage of it. Scott Rushing, Ventura

    • Juanita Sumner July 27, 2019 at 5:58 am #

      About 10 years ago I met a retired CHP officer in his late 70s. He explained spiking to me and he wasn’t very happy about it. At that time officers could use over time to spike their pension. He was super mad about it, informing me that law enforcement had not made that kind of salary when he was on the force. He said the unions were getting too powerful. Now they are the most powerful Union in the state.

      When I was at Sac State I had a sociology teacher who told us our society is run by institutions, including law enforcement, the schools, and the medical institutions. Now I realize she was talking about the unions.

  3. bob July 26, 2019 at 9:04 pm #

    No matter how much they take it will never be enough.

    The people who vote for all these tax increase who aren’t government employees never seem to figure that out.

    • Juanita Sumner July 27, 2019 at 5:59 am #

      That’s why we have to keep educating them Bob! The links you send are really helpful, people hit those a lot. Keep it up!

      • bob July 29, 2019 at 5:20 pm #

        Speaking of links did anyone see this?

        https://www.chicoer.com/2019/07/27/chico-plans-early-look-at-revenue-measure/

        Don’t you love how the ER calls them “revenue measures” instead of tax increases?

        The local politicians and bureaucrats and their highly paid consultants (paid with your taxes, of course) are looking at every possible angle to take even more of your money and as much as they possibly can. After all, Orme and the rest of them have those multi-million dollar pensions to fund!

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