The city is running a tax blitz, and it’s all about the pensions

8 Dec

Staff’s comment to my inquiry about the rental tax bothers me – “The recommendations will likely come back to Council in January.” So I wrote a letter to the editor about it. I think it’s important to remind people – the city is running a tax blitz, and it’s all about the pensions.

I was glad to hear Chico Internal Affairs Committee directed Staff to stop pursuing the rental tax on the Dec 6 agenda. But a staffer told me, “The recommendations will likely come back to Council in January.”

Staff has repeatedly recommended a “gross receipts” tax on both businesses and all rentals within the city limits, as well as an annual registry fee. According to the staff report, “The City could consider removing the unit exemption entirely requiring even renters of single family homes to pay the tax. Furthermore, the definition could be changed to residential and non-residential property, picking up any property rental within the City.”

Staff’s only concern is to “raise additional local funds”. They are desperate for revenues to cover their pension deficit, created by unrealistic employee contributions. Council has already approved a general sales tax increase for the 2022 ballot. A general tax measure has no restrictions on spending. The mayor has suggested sales tax revenues would be used to secure bonds. The city has already attempted to secure a Pension Obligation Bond without the approval of the voters.

They’re determined to ignore the obvious solution – instead of raising the price of everything all over town, Staff needs to pay more realistic shares toward their generous pensions, or accept smaller pensions. Council instead grants salaries over $100,000/year and 70-90% pensions, with employee shares only 9 – 15%, the taxpayers on the hook for increasing payments. Let’s change the structure of our payroll from Defined Benefits to Defined Contributions.

Juanita Sumner, Chico

4 Responses to “The city is running a tax blitz, and it’s all about the pensions”

  1. Scott Rushing December 8, 2021 at 11:12 am #

    Hello Juanita. More excellent comments and observations. Law enforcement budgets are growing. A defined contribution pension plan makes sense. A defined benefits plan is not sustainable and makes no sense and hiring more cops just exacerbate the deficit. The chief recently said to the council crime is declining in Chico so why the rush to expand the already bloated police budget.

    • Juanita Sumner December 8, 2021 at 12:19 pm #

      Thanks Scott, I absolutely agree. The chief talks out both sides of his mouth. When he wants to self-promote, crime is down. When they want a sales tax increase to pay the pensions, crime is out of control.

      I personally have seen crime go up, despite more money for the police budget. Was it Mae West who said, “A good man is hard to find”?

    • Joseph Robinson December 9, 2021 at 1:29 pm #

      When we ask them how much should we give,
      their only answer is more, more, more.

      • Juanita Sumner December 10, 2021 at 7:03 am #

        That is how I feel about the government. Especially when I realize “the government” is made up of employees who are only looking out for themselves, and their paid lackeys on board.

        Love Creedence, thanks for that suggestion, I’ll dig that album out for breakfast.

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