Archive | February, 2020

NO ON A: Don’t be a tax slave, don’t turn your children into tax slaves

4 Feb

I sent the following letter to the Chico News and Review after I read Melissa Daugherty’s editorial about over compensation and pension deficit in the Chico Police Department. She singles out the cops – unfair, unfair – not only is the city management top-heavy, look at CARD. An agency with 34 full-time employees has racked up almost $3 million in pension deficit. A recreation district manager who makes over $124,000/year plus benefits but pays only 8% of what the agency pays (14%) of her own pension costs. 

The problem all public agencies have in common is that employees don’t pay enough of their own pension/benefits costs, expecting the taxpayers to pick up the tab for 70% – 90% of their highest year’s salary, in retirement. 

Don’t be a tax slave – get your letter in now – NO ON A!

All public agencies have the same spending problem. As Richard Ek reported in 2007,  ever-increasing salaries with little or no contribution from employees toward the cost of over-generous benefits packages have created enormous “liabilities”.  That is, the difference between what employees expect to get in pension, and what they pay into it.

Until recently,  for example, Chico Area Recreation District employees paid nothing toward their pensions, even those making salaries over $100,000/year. Now the General Manager, with a recent salary increase to $124,000/year, only pays 8% of that agency’s cost for a pension of 70% of highest year’s salary. This policy has created a pension deficit of over $2.7 million for an agency with only 34 full-time employees.

Both the city and CARD have proposed tax increases. CARD’s parcel tax,  Measure A, is on the March 3 ballot. They say they need more money to sustain services and infrastructure, but, like City of Chico, they admit to deferring maintenance on facilities for years while paying millions toward their pension deficit.

In 2015, a consultant told CARD he could bring Shapiro Pool up to code for about $550,000. The board paid $400,000 toward their pension liability, and closed Shapiro Pool.

No on Measure A.

Juanita Sumner, Chico CA

NO ON MEASURE A: Time to get those letters to the ER before the February 21 deadline

4 Feb

Well, I suppose you got your “Yes on A” flyer.  It’s full of the same lies Chico Area Rec Dist General Manager Ann Willmann was pumping at her “informational” sessions. Well, you may fight fire with fire, but you fight bullshit with a hose. Here’s my hose, mailed off to the Enterprise Record yesterday. 

Measure A proponents claim county property taxes do not keep up with inflation and Chico Area Recreation District needs more taxpayer funding. But, according to CARD’s budget, available at chicorec.com, RDA passthrough funding increased 15% in 2019 and property tax revenues increased 7%, even after the Camp Fire. Meanwhile CARD’s payroll increased 11%, adding to their $2.7 million-plus pension liability.

Proponents list specific projects, but Measure A revenues won’t be dedicated. While the measure says proceeds will be collected in a special account, there’s no guarantee they’ll be used for the projects listed in the measure. From the text of the measure, “The district intends to use funds collected… for those projects listed above”, but here’s the caveat – “unless the board determines in any given year that changes in state or federal funding make doing so infeasible or inadvisable.”

In fact, the General Manager admits Measure A revenues will never be enough to pay for these projects, anyway.  So, CARD proposes using the proceeds to secure a $36 million projects bond that will cost $2 million a year in debt service while only providing $1 million/year for the list of projects they propose.  The result would be millions in new debt, with very little to show for it.

Home and business owners will be on the hook for a lot more than just an $85/year tax. A tax that increases every year with inflation, never sunsets, and is still not enough to pay for the rainbow, lollipop and sunshine promises.

NO on A.

Thanks Dave for this great printable “NO on Measure A” flyer

2 Feb

VOTE NO ON MEASURE A

CARD’s PERMANENT, PERPETUALLY INCREASING NEW TAX

Why Should You Vote No On Measure A?

• There is No Guarantee How the Money Will Be Spent
The measure contains a long list of goals and projects but no dollar amounts or completion
dates are assigned to anything. Even more of the general fund money that should already go to
these goals and projects can be made available for unsustainable pensions, benefits and raises.

• CARD Will Take on Tens of Millions of Dollars in New and EXPENSIVE Debt
The media reported that if the tax passes CARD will establish a $36 million dollar project fund
costing $2 million annually in debt service while only making $1 million annually available for
projects. THAT’S CRAZY! No wonder CARD didn’t mention the fund in the ballot measure.

• The Tax Automatically Goes Up EVERY Year
Indexed to the CPI the tax is perpetually increasing. Imagine if we have 1970’s style inflation
when the CPI went up nearly 15% in a single year! Even with relatively low inflation the
compounding effect over time will be significant. This is unfair to those on fixed incomes such
as seniors and others whose incomes do not keep pace with inflation.

• The Tax is PERMANENT Despite What CARD Says
CARD deceitfully says the tax will be in effect until “ended by voters.” Do you think CARD
will ever put a repeal on the ballot? Of course NOT! It will require professional signature
gathers to collect in excess of 12,000 signatures to get a repeal on the ballot and that will cost
thousands of dollars. Who is going to pay for that? No one! You will NEVER get a chance to
repeal this tax.

• The Tax is REGRESSIVE
All properties taxed the same regardless of value. Those least able to afford it are hurt the most.

• Benefits Specials Interests Who Have Raised Over $60,000 For Passage

• CARD’s Revenue Has Been Growing for Years – Up 43% since 2013

• So CARD Has a Spending Problem, not a Revenue Problem
Money that should have been spent for maintenance, new facilities and programs has been spent by CARD on massive unfunded liabilities made up chiefly of unrealistic pension and other post employment benefit promises. Existing funding can’t keep up with the growth of these
unsustainable liabilities hence the Measure A tax and tens of millions in new debt.

INSTEAD OF A PERMANENT, PERPETUALLY INCREASING, REGRESSIVE TAX AND TENS
OF MILLIONS OF NEW DEBT DEMAND CARD REFORM ITS UNFUNDED LIABILITIES!
HOLD CARD ACCOUNTABLE AND VOTE NO ON MEASURE A! DON’T BURDEN YOUR
CHILDREN WITH CARD’S DEBT! GO TO

http://CHICOTAXES.HOME.BLOG

TO GET THIS FLYER AND DISTRIBUTE IT TO EVERYONE YOU KNOW! THANK YOU!