Don’t fall for the city council’s tax increase lie

Letter: Don’t fall for the city council’s tax increase lie

Chico Enterprise-Record
April 29, 2019

In FY 2017-18 city revenues grew 7.4%. Director Dowell told the city council revenue growth is expected to continue. Yet Director Orme said the city has a revenue problem that requires tax increases. Despite increased revenue the city’s infrastructure continues to crumble.

Mayor Stone tells us city employee compensation costs will double in less than 10 years and CalPERs will devour 25% of the city’s budget by 2023. (And that assumes an unrealistically high CalPERS 7% return rate.) Stone admits this is unsustainable.

The obvious answer: pension reform.

Instead the city council is giving tens of thousands of your tax dollars to a PR firm to sell you a tax increase. Their pitch will be that the money is necessary to fund infrastructure and public safety. That’s a lie. It’s necessary because for years the city has put unrealistic pension promises ahead of everything else and the city council has no intention of changing that.

Other cities in California have taken the same approach. Instead of fixing the problem the result has been demands for even higher taxes.

Initial estimates indicate the city council’s tax increase would cost a family of four an extra $1200 a year. This in a county with a 21% poverty rate where city bureaucrats have pensions worth millions. It’s unconscionable.

This is how democracy fails. The people need to let the city’s politicians know loudly and clearly this will not be tolerated. Email to voice your disapproval to the entire council.

— Dave Howell, Chico

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