Tag Archives: tax increases

If we allow the city’s sales tax measure to pass, the taxpayers will be on the hook for the outrageous pensions and benefits forever

3 Jan

A couple of letter writers weighed in recently on the proposed sales tax increase measure our city manager and council are moving toward the ballot. I don’t want to get too confident, but I’m starting to wonder if this measure will be the slam dunk the city is hoping for.

From the Enterprise Record:

More jobs, no tax increase
Here’s a novel idea. Have Chico’s “less fortunate” get jobs and become self reliant (like the rest of us) and we won’t need a city sales tax increase.— Jeff Saine, Chico

Long time local newscaster and well-known meteorologist Anthony Watts included the measure in his 2022 predictions:

Forecasts for 2022
No. 1: The legislature will pass and Gov. Gavin Newsom will sign an “exit tax” on people leaving the state for a better life. They’ll tax U-Haul, Ryder, Bekins, United Van Lines, etc. on any out-of-state move contract. This will create a black-market for clandestine movers. It will also create a reverse “Grapes of Wrath” effect; people loading up their vehicles and leaving the state to escape the “great depression” of California.

No. 2: State sanctioned theft of electricity becomes the new normal. On Jan. 27, 2022, The CPUC will approve the new NEM3 system that will create the highest solar tax in the country and hugely reduce the bill credit solar customers get for selling electricity back to the grid. It also imposes new fees for the “privilege” of connecting to the grid. NEM3 will pay 25 cents on the dollar per kilowatt-hour of electricity generated by home and small business solar owners, where under NEM2 it was 95 cents on the dollar. The result; a huge drop in installed solar on existing homes, and black-market electricians to wire solar to directly power homes instead of the grid.

No. 3: “Climate change” will be blamed for Nos. 1 and 2. Newsom and/or some idiot lawmaker will say “climate change” is the real reason people are leaving the state, and “climate change” is the reason we must steal electricity from your solar panels without fairly compensating homeowners.

No. 4: If it makes the ballot, the proposed 1% sales tax in Chico will fail spectacularly in November. Anthony Watts, Chico

I’m fairly certain this measure will make the ballot, but I’d like to believe it will fail. Now that the city is hiring a consultant to peddle it, it’s up to us to make sure the voters get both sides of the story. Important facts have been left out of the media interpretations of this measure – most important, staff and council members have already talked about using the revenues from this measure to secure bonds, including a Pension Obligation Bond. Bonds are permanent debt. As of now the city has no bond debt. The only real obligation against the city is the pension deficit, and who’s responsible for that is negotiable. If we allow this measure to pass, we’ll be on the hook for the pensions forever.

Mau mauing the Flak Catchers – it’s just not as fun as you’d think!

30 Oct

I get frustrated dealing with bureaucracy and bureaucrats. I just spent a couple of days, during breaks from my job, to check over that list of tax-related amendments that have been circulating the legislature like a bunch of flies over a carcass, It was a pain in the ass, okay?  I’ve been all over that stupid legislative website – like most public websites, you know it costs a zillion bucks to run the damned thing, and it’s just not what it could be.  Sometimes it pops right up with info, other times you’d think the elves who were running it had gone out on strike. 

It’s not just the website, it’s the ridiculous complexity they’ve manufactured to make it look like legislators and their $taffers earn their money.  Here’s one reason it’s so confusing – I went in search of an amendment titled “SCA3” –  “introduced by Senator Mark Leno on December 3, 2012 to authorize school districts, community college districts, and county offices of education to impose a parcel tax on real property by a 55% vote of the voters in the district or county under specified circumstances…” I could not find it on the California Legislature’s website, but I found it analyzed on other sites, including “Legislative Intent Services” at http://www.legintent.com/california-legislative-and-administrative-research/?gclid=CJX3tNm_v7oCFQZyQgod5A4AFw

So, I contacted Legislative Services, asking about “SCA3, which lowers the voter threshold for tax measures from 2/3’s to 55%.” I don’t know if the gal who responded had read my simple e-mail. She came back with another SCA3 – “This measure would require each local agency to comply with the CPRA and the Brown Act, and with any subsequent statutory enactment amending either act, enacting a successor act, or amending any successor act which contains findings demonstrating that the statutory enactment furthers the purposes of the people’s right of access to information concerning the conduct of the people’s business. “

So, how do I respond to her? “Sorry Hon, that’s real interesting, but where does it say anything about lowering the voter threshold?” I don’t know how to respond, so instead I’ll assume – the SCA 3 I was looking for has died and been reincarnated as another amendment. 

That is pretty interesting though – read the new SCA 3 herehttp://leginfo.legislature.ca.gov/faces/billNavClient.xhtml?bill_id=201320140SCA3  –    something about providing records of meetings!  “ access to information concerning the conduct of the people’s business. “

But, the gal from Legintent did send send me this good link – telling us what has been approved for the next ballot, at this point, June 2014  – including the new SCA 3 – take a look, and keep this link handy: