Tax storm on the horizon

It’s Wednesday, school is in session for most people, so my husband and I decided to go camping. I’m coming to you from the cloud.

I’m not sure that’s right, I don’t know what “the cloud” is. But, I use my husband’s cell phone to connect my tiny “notebook” to the internet, and I sit here in the semi-darkness, sipping hot coffee and babbling while he and the dogs get some quality zzzz’s.

I get up early no matter where I am, the old bod has to move.  My legs kick me out of bed every morning.

There were so many stars when I woke up I had trouble spotting Orion and his dogs. But Venus is unmistakable, her round bottom glistening in the morning sun.

I’ve been frustrated lately, with all the work my family has been doing all Summer, I haven’t had time to hold much of a candle on the government backside. Our town is in heaps of trouble, and every agency from recreation to education is holding their hand out for more money.

I was watching the news Monday, and in a “first day of school” feature, the district finance manager, Kevin Bultema, was already bitching that the district is short of money. Here’s my prediction – get ready for another bond measure in 2018. They’ve had a bond on the last three ballots, and the last two have passed, just whets their appetites. Bultema admitted to me earlier this year that CalSTRS has raised their premiums and will continue to raise them in response to shortfalls in the stock market. He said if the district can’t find more revenues they will cut programs for the kids. 

So much for the moral caliber of public servants.  This guy makes over $160,000 in salary and we pay another $51,000 toward his pension and benefits. But he cuts programs for the kids. What a pig. 

Meanwhile, the Chico Area Recreation District is moving shamelessly toward putting another revenue bond on our homes – I’ve flaked on this, I haven’t attended the meetings, so I can’t figure out whether they will put it on the general election ballot or go  with a mailed ballot of property owners. 

My friend Bob told me about a popular book on the market – “Taxifornia”. I haven’t had time to read it but I think I get the general gist. 

The city is also pandering for a quarter cent sales tax increase. Really? On what ? They have been annexing car lots into the city, trying to cash in on high ticket sales tax, but I’m going to tell you what – they get the sales tax off any car purchased by a city resident, anywhere, they don’t need to annex half the county. Whenever they annex, they get costs, like streets and sewer and other stuff they can’t even keep fixed in long-standing parts of the city. 

We’ve got a city $taff whose main purpose in life is bringing in revenues, by hook or by crook, to pay down their $178 million pension deficit. 

We have to get ready for Tax Storm, 2018. But how do you get people’s attention? They flocked like lemmings after the much-hyped eclipse – I enjoyed it from my yard, using a piece of cardboard with a hole punched in it.  I saw people on the news who drove 19 hours, then jumped back in their cars to drive 19 more. But show up for a CARD meeting to voice concern over 30 employees racking up $1.7 million in pension deficit and only recently being asked to pay 2% of their premiums out of salaries over $100,000/year? “We have a life…”

We’ve got “peace advocates” shutting down legal rallies, attacking marchers who have a different viewpoint, censoring speakers from public campuses, but show up for a city council meeting to voice concern over salaries, benefits, the pension deficit? “We have a life…”

When will people see the direct connection between quality of life and public engagement?

 

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