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NO on MEASURE U  

Don't DOUBLE the tax.

History: 

Back in 2012 the City of Sacramento was cutting essential services. They cut the police force, they closed fire stations, cut park and library services.  As a temporary solution voters passed a 1/2 percent sales tax hike to restore services back to pre-recession levels. 

What we were told:

Measure U would bring in $25 Million per year and restore the services.  Measure U said it would have an Oversight Committee that met twice a year.  Measure U said it was temporary, only 6 years, while city revenues recovered. 

What actually happened:

Measure U was a huge success.  Look at this revenue:

Fiscal Year Revenue  Expenses 
 2012/13 $4,820,000 $2,188,000
 2013/14 $43,194,000 $19,290,000
 2014/15 $43,945,000 $28,475,000
 2015/16 $42,484,000 $42,484,000
 2016/17 $45,393,000 $47,496,000
 2017/18 Estimated $47,300,000   

 

Look at those numbers...  The City of Sacramento hit the lottery with Measure U!  Almost double what they told us it would be.  Did we get double the service promised?

Keep in mind, this is currently a 1/2 cent tax.  The city sales tax rate today is 8.25%.  March 31, 2019 the city sales tax rate would go to 7.75% if we don't vote for the New Measure U.  If the city gets its way.... get ready for 8.75% sales tax.

What else?  The Measure U Oversight Committee only meets twice a year, if they meet at all.  In 2018, they haven't met.  They actually haven't met since March 2017.  Where's the oversight?

Let's talk about regressive taxes for a minute... don't zone out here, it's important to us.  A sales tax like this takes (out of our pockets) a higher percentage of your income the less you make.  Here's an example:  

Transparent California says that Darrell Steinberg makes about $108,700 per year as mayor.  The median income in Sacramento is $52,071 according to the census bureau.  We are both going to buy a new 2019 Prius for $21,530 (base model, I'm cheap). Here's how regressive taxes work:   

$21,530 x sales tax rate of 8.75% = $1,883.88 in sales tax

What percentage of my income is this compared to Darrell's income?

Darrell:  $1,883.88 / $108,700 = 1.7% of Darrell's income

Us:  $1,883.88 / $52,071 =  3.62%  of my income (LOOK AT THAT)

See why this matters to us?  Stay tuned, there's more to come. 


News

Thursday, October 18, 2018 9:11 AM

Why taxes aren’t solving cities’ budget woes

Walters: Why property tax gains aren’t solving cities’ budget woes

Local governments’ pension costs are growing faster than revenues, thus putting the squeeze on their budgets

Local government officials throughout the state got some very good financial news when county tax assessors toted up changes in taxable property values for their 2018-19 budgets.
The state’s uber-strong real estate market generated a 6.51 percent increase in those values, adding another $374 billion to the property tax rolls and pushing the total to $6.1 trillion.
That increase, three times the rate of inflation, translates into $4-plus billion more in revenue for cities, counties and other local governments. While schools also receive property taxes, they don’t directly benefit from the increase because of how state aid is structured.
The big winners are cities because, unlike counties and schools, they are almost totally dependent on local taxes and fees to finance their budgets. San Francisco, which is both a city and a county, reported the state’s strongest assessed valuation gain, 10.35 percent.
The very strong growth in property tax revenue, however, raises a pithy question: Why then are so many local governments, cities especially, complaining that they can’t balance their budgets unless local voters raise taxes?
There are 254 local tax increases on the November ballot – sales taxes, parcel taxes, utility taxes and hotel/motel taxes, mostly – according to the California Taxpayers Association, 65 percent more than there were four years ago.
The reason is that even with strong property tax gains, local governments’ pension costs are growing faster than revenues, thus putting the squeeze on their budgets.
Cities have been hit the hardest by increases in mandatory payments to the California Public Employees Retirement System (CalPERS) as it tries to shrink its large “unfunded liability.” City officials have repeatedly complained about the specter of insolvency if pension payments continue to grow and the League of California Cities has labeled the situation “unsustainable.”
With very rare exceptions, however, officials who place the tax increases on the ballot will not publicly say the extra revenue is needed to offset rising pension costs. Officials believe that telling the truth would make voters less likely to vote for the new taxes. It could also make employee unions less likely to provide money for tax campaigns.
Rather, on the advice of high-priced consultants, they say the money is needed for popular police and fire services and parks.
Unfortunately, most local news media are carelessly complicit in this conspiracy of silence, tending to accept the official reasons at face value, rather than analyze them critically. That’s true even though data about what revenue the new taxes would generate and projections of pension costs are readily available.
Over the weekend, for instance, the Sacramento Bee published a long article about proposed tax increases in Central Valley cities, quoting officials about what they hoped to do with the extra revenue, including Sacramento Mayor Darrell Steinberg, who called his one-cent sales tax hike a “game changer.”
The Santa Cruz Sentinel, in a similar piece about new hotel/motel tax proposals in its region, took the opposite – and more responsible – tack by delving into how pensions are straining local budgets and driving tax hikes.However, the article only tersely mentioned pensions as something brought up by unnamed “critics,” even though the city’s own budget complains about pension costs and data indicate that the new taxes would largely go to pensions.
The Sentinel’s article, unfortunately, is a very rare exception. Otherwise, local officials and local media seem to believe that ignorance will be blissful.

https://www.mercurynews.com/2018/10/17/walters-why-property-tax-gains-arent-solving-cities-budget-woes/


Wednesday, September 12, 2018 12:00 AM

No on Measure U Heats Up - Fox 40


Tuesday, September 11, 2018 12:00 AM

No on Measure U with KFBK


Tuesday, September 11, 2018 12:00 AM

No on Measure U Campaign Launch


Friday, August 17, 2018 9:58 AM

Register to Vote

It's ok if you haven't registered to vote yet.  These's plenty of time.

In Sacramento County, you can still register to vote or update your registration at the County Registrar of Voters Office OR a Vote Center location through election day.

 


No on Measure U FPPC # 1409181
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