Dems want to raise property taxes to fund government pensions

Pension moneyI guess I should use the old vaudeville line: Stop me if you’ve heard this one: the push to increase commercial property taxes is about government pension costs. Returning to this subject at this time (I wrote on the same subject for the Sacramento Bee last April) is prompted by the coming together of a couple of recent events.

There was the League of Women Voters and other groups hosting a meeting in Los Angeles this past weekend to “educate” people and advocate for a split roll property tax seeking to raise billions of tax dollars on the back of businesses. Also last week, Stanford University’s Institute for Policy Research issued a report by professor and former Democratic legislator Joe Nation describing the pension burden that is beginning to strangle state and local governments in California.

The services that are affected by both the split roll rally and the Stanford report are quite similar.

Supporters of the split roll say that raising taxes on commercial property will provide $9 billion a year needed for schools and services provided by local governments. Meanwhile, Joe Nation’s report says that because of pension contributions by employers (i.e. governments) increasing an average of 400% over the past 15 years, educational services, recreation, community services and others are squeezed for lack of money.

Many “core mission services,” as defined by the Stanford report, will be starved of money because of pension demands. The split roll advocates talk about the need for more money for local services. What they don’t tell you is that money for those services is being diverted to cover the pension requirements of state and local governments because these governments made generous promises to workers and accepted revenue projections to cover those promises that did not play out.

Instead of admitting that more money is needed to cover pension costs, split roll advocates create a false argument about business dodging its fair share of property taxes. They claim homeowners now pay a much larger share of the property tax burden than they did prior to Proposition 13. A Legislative Analyst’s Office report undercuts that false claim.

The report states in part, “Homeowners pay a slightly larger share of property taxes today than they did when Proposition 13 passed. Proposition 13 does not appear to have caused this increase. … In part, this may be due to faster growth in the number of residential properties than the number of commercial and industrial properties.”

The so-called grassroots activity seeking support for a split roll is backed by powerful public employee unions who support more revenues to cover the pension costs. Yet, you won’t hear anything from the split roll advocates about the pensions strangling local budgets or pushing some cities toward bankruptcies.

Meanwhile, the Stanford study makes it clear with numerous examples that pensions are absorbing greater and greater portions of local government budgets. The Stanford study states clearly there is “agreement on one fact: public pension costs are making it harder to provide services that have traditionally been considered part of government’s core mission.”

This piece was originally published by Fox and Hounds Daily

Comments

  1. Conservatives need to get out of california if you possibly can. It’s only going to worse.

    • MICHAEL UNFRIED says

      That is the wrong attitude to have. It is not time to run. It is time to fight back. I am running for Governor of California to put an end to the stealing Demoralcrats in Sacramento.

  2. Buffalo Scout says

    Instead of increasing business taxes, why don’t you just confiscate the salaries of the Democratic legislators in Sacramento? They don’t do anything anyway except drive the state farther into debt with their liberal progressive agenda. In addition, why make businesses in California pay for the fiscal malfeasance of the government and the unions running their pension funds?

  3. HELL NO.

  4. Don’t jump ship when we are about to finally get to critical mass!
    This is all going to turn around and bite these incompetents!
    Hold on and keep the faith. There are good signs out there that will balance the negative. Wait, watch and see.

  5. Aprila, it’s not “jumping ship”, it’s a common sense solution to saving yourself and family from the upcoming “implosion”.

  6. Who didn’t see this freight train coming ? Just the beginning . Wonder why those same legislators don’t demand that those actually in the state pension program pay more for it.

  7. Gov’t (union) employees get the gravy while the taxpayers are mashed.

  8. Delbert Tharp says

    Once again the taxpayer is suppose to make up for the stupidity of the legislature and most city council members. You can not give pensions better than what the private citizens get working longer and most of the time harder. All you have to do is listen to the powers to be, Caltrans has been estimated to be over maned by at least 3500 employees, which means how much over maned are the other departments. As long as you have people like Moonbeam in charge you will never see anything change, just think high speed train boondoggle. We either find someone better to run for office than we have or leave.

  9. People need to stop saying Thanks, May I have another and tell the Dems, No f-ing way. Vote their asses out.

  10. I find it just amazing. The Demos have to tax those who have assets to tax. It is getting difficult. When you have more unemployed “citizens” than employed, taxation starts getting difficult. I have faith in Jerry Brown and his “useful idiots” to make life miserable.

  11. retiredxlr8r says

    You know what? I don’t think more tax revenue will solve any problems. Democrats seem to have a talent for spending at least 20-30 percent more than they take in. If they can’t manage the budget they have they don’t need anymore tax revenue to waste.
    The pension problem is there’s. lock, stock, and barrel. They agreed to these pensions they need to pay for them, If that means trimming staff, laying off and closing state agencies then so be it, that’s what dad and mom do when dad loses his blue collar, private industry job because of miss management by his state legislature through regulations and environmental excesses.
    Democrats are the problem Democrats need to be the solution!
    Yeah! Like that’s going to happen!

  12. I am against anything that the unions are for….Californians have already been called “freeloaders” from that piece of shit wacko Govenor. Leon has ZERO chance to be govenor..Go back to shit mexico Leon…trash wetback

  13. Bogiewheel says

    The cabal in Sacramento has been rubbing their crystal ball and believe they have the secret of how to insert five quarts of debt into a one quart container.

  14. Bogiewheel says

    The State goes overboard when requiring a global tax to cove pension failures through the shoddy investments and improper caretaking of the taxpayers money. This is malfeasance in government affairs. The recipient of the pension should pony-up. The overpaid State workers are a contributing factor in excessively high pensions. In the years past, people joined the government work force because it was steady employment; not high wages. This was the feeling of those that experienced bad times in the 1930s. Allowing unions into the government was the worst possible intervention into public affairs. The dues paid to unions, for the right to work in a government job, would go a long way to reducing the strain on pension funding.

  15. deplorable bobx says

    Anything with CAL in front of it is definitely an agency or program that should be looked at with extreme caution. My wife works for the County Library (a completely separate public pension system) which as far as I can tell is fully funded. However to stay fully funded the worker bee’s pension payments are definitely not as good as good as the honchos at the top and any other state government worker or elected official. It is about the same as social security and not the maximum amount – just mediocre payments. In addition, she is not eligible for my spousal social security benefits which any unemployed spouse would be eligible.

    When the government does things like having the pensions (and other state funds) invest in politically correct concepts that do not make much (or possibly any) money and not invest business and goods that make money so that the public is protected from the incompetence of government, then these pensions and funds should be turned over to financial investment companies with proven track records not incompetent government officials. State and local government officials (from moonbeam down to the local mayor and councilperson – politically correct title) are responsible for this mess and should be held personally financially responsible for making the pensions solvent. The people are not responsible for this and should not have to pay for it. In addition, setting up a separate tax roll for companies just hides the problem it does not fix it. Companies DO NOT pay taxes, they just pass on whatever they have to pay to the public which means you and I pay these increased taxes NOT the company.

    In fact, any time the idiots in Sacramento want to raise fees, taxes or legal fees for illegal aliens they should pay for these things out of their own pockets. Maybe that would convince them to stop spending my money.

  16. We, the people, can solve this problem once and for all time by doing one thing: “VOTE OUT!” If they are in, put them out! Limit all elected offices to one term. When the go home give them a parade or a rope. In no more than two elections we will be in charge.

    Google “Two Minute Conservative” for more.

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