Coolidge’s tax increase proposals are the grist they need for their pension obligation bond. Chico cost of living will increase while quality of living will decrease.

28 Feb

This Tuesday Chico City council has an over-full agenda. I notice a lot of the remarks on Engaged Chico question the timing of some of the items, with meetings closed to the public. It seems like they’ve packed the agenda with stupid crap like a Downtown card room, after promising us they’d only discuss “essential business” during the shutdown. 

Nichole Nava sums it up, “This topic and a couple of others should be tabled until the E[xecutive] O[rder] has ended and FULL public participation resumes. Continuing to place items such as this one on the agenda while still under the PHE is not the responsible course of action.”

Hidden deep in this mystery meat agenda are two tax proposals from Andrew Coolidge. Coolidge is proposing not only a sales tax increase for “police and fire,” but a bond for “road improvements.” I feel this agenda has been packed for a reason – they want to distract us from the tax increase proposals they are trying to run under the wire. 

If you read the financial reports attached at the end of the agenda, you see that the city is collecting more revenues every year, and paying more toward the UAL every year. This year they paid out $11.4 million, just in “catch-up” payments, That doesn’t include the regular payroll payments they allocate out of each department budget. But Coolidge wants these measures to guarantee the POB that comes up later in the agenda. All the while the UAL is growing out of control because council has failed to control employee costs.

Hidden even more deeply in the casserole – Item 5.12 – is a request from City Manager Mark Orme (“Staff”) to move forward the Pension Obligation validation process. 

 “Staff is requesting approval to continue exploring the CalPERS Unfunded Accrued Liability (UAL)…”

Well, that’s interesting – “staff is requesting approval…” Meaning, Mark Orme. Orme knows they need that POB before CalPERS ups the ante again. And, he knows they need the sales tax increase and a bond to cover the payments on the POB. This is a desperate scheme, and we’re the ones who will be left holding the bag for this bond. If we don’t approve the sales tax increase and Coolidge’s bond, the POB payments will bottom out our budget. But even if we do approve those new taxes, we will not get street/road repairs, we will not see more police, but the cops and the rest of the employees will be guaranteed their overgenerous pensions. 

Right now the city is bargaining with the Chico Police Officers Association for a new contract. Instead of asking them to pay more toward their generous pensions and benefits, council is turning the stick on the rest of us. The public safety groups – CPOA and the International Firefighters – only pay 15% toward pensions of 90% of salaries exceeding $100,000/year. That’s ridiculous – $15 for every $100 they expect to collect for sitting on their asses in retirement. But here’s the funny thing – they also pay more than any other bargaining group. Management, with the highest salaries, pay the least – 9%. They expect us to pay their salaries now, and then pay them again, with Cost of Living Increase!  

If you haven’t already commented on Engaged Chico

https://chico-ca.granicusideas.com/meetings/354-2-slash-16-slash-21-city-council-meeting-continued-to-march-2-2020/agenda_items/6036bf36f2b6700d2c00a1ad-5-dot-12-pension-obligation-bonds-this-item-added-t

please do. This bond will tank our budget. The sales tax increase and (yet another!) bond on our homes will raise the cost of living in Chico even further, just in case things are expensive enough for you already. 

They raised the cost of our trash service 19% – have you seen any improvement in the street in front of your house? Coolidge is bullshitting us again, just say NO. 

4 Responses to “Coolidge’s tax increase proposals are the grist they need for their pension obligation bond. Chico cost of living will increase while quality of living will decrease.”

  1. Dave February 28, 2021 at 5:05 pm #

    It makes no difference if you elect “liberals” or “conservatives” to the city council. ALL OF THEM want more of your money and will do all they can to take it. ALL OF THEM will run up the debt as high as possible. The only difference between the “liberals” and “conservatives” is who gets the loot.

    These city councilors get a lot of money from special interests and those special interests expect results. So that’s who they work for, special interests such as the public employee unions, not people like you or me. To them, we are just the tax cattle to be harvested for the special interests.

    If you read the financial reports attached at the end of the agenda, you see that the city is collecting more revenues every year, and paying more toward the UAL every year. This year they paid out $11.4 million, just in “catch-up” payments, That doesn’t include the regular payroll payments they allocate out of each department budget.

    Every year they get more revenue but no matter how much they get it will never be enough. The pension UAL plus interest is a quarter BILLION dollars and growing and does NOT include the unfunded OPEB liability. It can never be paid but they will take as much from us as they can and rack up as much debt as they can to kick the can down the road as long as possible to satisfy the special interests they work for.

    This is what happens when you have a corrupt system and a citizenry that is clueless and could not care less about becoming informed.

    My guess is they use the sales tax revenue to float the bond. That’s the direction the last council was going in before Stone sunk the sales tax increase. But maybe Coolidge won’t do that because they could probably borrow more if it’s not tied to the sales tax revenue so maybe Coolidge will want a parcel tax. But half our tax dollars used for that bond won’t even go for the roads, it will go for interest and fees. What a waste of money! But Coolidge couldn’t care less about that.

    Even if Coolidge gets his POB, sales tax and bond it’s not going to make the pensions and OPEB sustainable, so in a few years they will be demanding more tax increases and borrowing.

    This city council is being more aggressive about trying to take more of you money than the last one. If you want to give these parasites a piece of your mind about the sales tax increase and bond go here

    https://chico-ca.granicusideas.com/meetings/354-2-slash-16-slash-21-city-council-meeting-continued-to-march-2-2020/agenda_items/6026e0b5442538296e01e58d-5-dot-7-mayor-coolidge-request-to-discuss-a-sales-tax

  2. Scott Rushing February 28, 2021 at 5:09 pm #

    A PRA revealed a surprising, at least to me, number of settlement fees paid by taxpayers for actions of Chico PD from 2014-2019. I have watched every council meeting since 2014 and have not heard any discussion of these payments. There are also staff time and legal fees related to every payment that is not itemized on this list. I assume the expenses were approved in a closed session or by the city manager. In my POV, the public/taxpayers of Chico should be informed of the details and reasons behind the need for the significant taxpayer-paid expenses.

  3. Scott Rushing February 28, 2021 at 8:43 pm #

    The amount paid by taxpayers for settlements due to Chico PD behavior, from 2014-2019, exceeded $569,276. The spreadsheet had three redactions so these settlements have been kept secret by city officials. There were seventy-four settlements listed on the spreadsheet released in response to a PRA request.

    • Juanita Sumner March 2, 2021 at 9:55 am #

      Thanks Scott, this is just another cost out of the cop shop that the taxpayers are just expected to cover.

      Frankly, I just had an opportunity to watch some CPD officers in action, and I was shocked at the unprofessionalism and lack of respect exhibited by these overpaid morons. One officer actually contradicted herself in speaking to a citizen, and another officer, obviously unhappy with criticism, answered another citizen’s concerns with a very nasty “I don’t care!”

      And you probably heard this old saying – “when the fish stinks, it’s the head of the fish that stinks…” And that is Mark Orme.

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