CARD Still Won’t Reform Its Unfunded Liabilities

While the markets are nosediving and already underfunded CalPERS is taking a big hit, CARD still refuses to reform its unaffordable pension and other post employment benefit liabilities. This despite the failure of Measure A.

Here’s what CARD board member and CalPERS six figure pension recipient Tom Lando had to say in today’s ER:

Even though we said — truthfully — that there’s a plan to pay off unfunded liabilities, people weren’t sure. Pensions are hanging over people’s heads.

Sure there is a plan. It is to do what they’ve been doing for years: divert millions of the taxpayer’s dollars that should go to maintenance, programs and new facilities to CalPERS so the pension gravy train can keep rolling. And that’s exactly what CARD will continue to do. And Measure A supporters blamed CARD’s unfunded liabilities on the state. That’s a lie. It wasn’t the state that approved CARD’s unaffordable employee compensation packages. It was CARD’s board.

And the ER article attributes the defeat of Measure A in part to “a robust anti-Measure A campaign.”

What a laugh. Yes, a handful of people wrote letters to the two local newspaper and a couple of people blogged against Measure A and there were some No on A signs but that was it. The ER article fails to mention that special interests poured over $64,000 to push through Measure A including $50,000 from the SIEU and $6,000 from board member and six figure CalPERS pension recipient Tom Lando.

CARD’s board and bureaucracy have no intention of ever reforming their unfunded liabilities. They expect taxpayers to continue to pay for unfordable pensions and other post employment benefits at the expense of park maintenance, programs and new facilities.

Had Measure A passed CARD’s board planned to spend two-thirds of the new tax money not on the parks and programs but on debt service. Of course CARD didn’t mention this in the ballot measure. Shouldn’t taxpayers have been told that before they passed a permanent and ever increasing tax?

And in addition to the over $64,000 from special interests that was raised, CARD spent 132,500 taxpayer dollars trying to get Measure A passed. THIS, THE DIVERSION OF MONEY TO CALPERS AND THE INTENTION OF SPENDING MOST OF THE NEW TAX ON DEBT SERVICE SHOWS WHAT TERRIBLE STEWARDS CARD AND ITS BUREAUCRACY ARE OF THE TAXPAYER’S MONEY.

CARD’s board and supporters deceived the public. Measure A was a fraud. The entire CARD board needs to go and Lando should be the first out the door, and the new board should get rid of CARD’s existing bureaucracy.

Every new local tax is a pension tax

And that includes Chico’s new taxes for 2020…and beyond.

Californians face a wave of local tax hike measures

The economy has been booming over the last decade, which has provided local governments with a windfall in sales and property taxes. Despite the economic fat times, California cities have been complaining about their dire economic straits, with some of them even fearing insolvency unless something is done to change the financial trajectory.

What explains this dichotomy? The answer is simple. The costs of public employee compensation, especially pension and retiree-medical benefits, continue to climb exponentially and are consuming ever-larger portions of local general-fund budgets. One need only look at the Transparent California website to get a sense of the eye-popping levels of pay and benefits.

Instead of addressing this well-documented problem, state and local leaders have relied on a tried-and-true method: asking local taxpayers to increase taxes on themselves. California voters will see the latest evidence of this at the ballot box during the March 3 primary. The California Taxpayers Association (CalTax) recently published a list of more than 230 tax increases that will be on local ballots.

Local governments and school districts always tout these measures as necessary expenditures to rebuild crumbling schools, maintain overused parks and provide better police services, but don’t be fooled. Every new local tax these days is, essentially, a pension tax. These governments write the ballot summaries and provide “voter information,” so they are able to sway the discussion away from the true causes of their fiscal peril.

Read the rest here