Tag Archives: Matt Gallaway Chico CA

Letter to the Editor: Matt Gallaway is worried about his bottom line, not yours.

18 Oct

The Enterprise Record posted a letter from Measure H proponent Matt Gallaway, a guy who expects to benefit directly from Measure H revenues. Gallaway is the local architect who received $300,000 in American Rescue Plan money, and expects to receive more, to design parklets for Downtown bars and restaurants. Like BC, I’ve responded to each paragraph.

Though conservatives typically are not in favor of taxes, there comes a point where we must recognize the limitations of what the state provides our municipality. California may have a huge surplus, our city does not.

The first line insinuates that people simply oppose tax increase because they “typically are not in favor of taxes.” I take exception to that – I pay my taxes on time, and I pay plenty. Between property taxes, utility bills (which are subject to franchise taxes and utility users tax), gas tax, car registration tax, and sales or “use tax”, the city of Chico is well funded, look at the budget.

And yes, the city of Chico has enjoyed a financial surplus, receiving over $20 million in American Rescue Plan money over the last year, another $12,2 million just two months ago. Directly on the heels of millions in sales tax surplus from the Camp Fire refugees, who also afforded the city millions more in disaster funding. Hey, that is still going on – people in Paradise are still building homes, with materials from stores in Chico.

Gallaway should know – $300,000 of that American Rescue Plan money has gone into his pocket to furnish designs for the parklets the city plans to install Downtown. Tomorrow night Staff is asking council to approve more funding for their Downtown remodel – Ass City Manager Jennifer McCarthy says, “$300,000 does not begin to cover this…” How much goes to Gallaway for more designs?

A sales tax seems to be the most appropriate method to generate funds to help our community.  It would come from those who visit and use our infrastructure as well as from our residents. It is NOT assessed on a gallon of milk or a loaf of bread. It is not added to rent checks. The truth of the matter is that when we froze property taxes with Prop 13 back in the late 1970s, our funding started to slip — we live the reality of that today.   Most other communities in the state have recognized the need for a sales tax and have passed them long ago, leaving Chico behind.

Paragraph Two is where he goes into the same pitch we’ve heard from Brandon Slater, Ann Schwab and other proponents, almost word for word. So much for Mike Wolcott’s rule about “no form letters.” Gallaway repeats the mantra about visitors paying their fair share – they already pay bed tax – and then the la-la about the tax not applying to “a gallon of milk or a loaf of bread...” No, but it applies to soap, underwear, shoes, gas not only to get us to the store but to get the truckloads of supplies to the store. No, it doesn’t apply to rent, but it drives up costs for landlords.

Then he take a new tack – he blames our problems on Prop 13. Did this guy call himself a “conservative” in Paragraph 1? Cause I think he’s one of those RINO’s – Republican in Name Only. This guy is telling us Prop 13 is bad, when he should know, the city takes in over $24 million a year in property tax, regardless of Prop 13. And right now there is an unprecedented building spree going on in Chico – all those new homes/apartments will generate millions more in property tax, not to mention building fees.

Chico hasn’t fallen behind in revenues, it’s fallen behind in infrastructure because they’ve been siphoning the money into the pensions.

And Gallaway admits that in his next paragraph. He finally tells the rest of us what’s been talked about in off-the-record meetings for over a year now – they want to use the sales tax revenues to secure bonds, to assure us that it won’t go to CalPERS by way of the General Fund.

The good news is that there are methods to help make sure this tax is not spent on CALPers and the city’s unfunded pension liability.  I trust our city staff and council to secure the vast majority of the proposed tax for our parks and roadways in the form of long-term bonds. Most jurisdictions find this to be a good method to span political cycles.

First of all, that just shows what a lie they’re floating on the ballot, where they promise $24 million/year off a 1-cent sales tax. Second, they never mentioned the bonds in front of the public, the last reference to purchasing bonds was during COVID at a closed meeting. Bonds are permanent debt, and they ride the market. You’ve seen the market lately?

Gallaway closes with another lame pitch –

“H” is for help and we all need to do our parts to help insure our city maintains it’s character and charm.

Matt Gallaway, Chico CA

Gallaway says “we”, but what he’s really concerned about is himself. This man works for the public sector almost exclusively, he knows this tax is part of his bottom line, and he doesn’t care about yours.

NO on Measure H.