Politicians Seek to Raise Taxes Rather Than Cut Costs

Politicians and their special interest supporters don’t see 2012 as the ideal time to seek ways to trim budgets and reform overgenerous public pension systems. Rather they see it as the moment to impose higher taxes and fees on taxpayers struggling in a down economy.

Some prime examples are:

1) Governor Jerry Brown’s proposed initiative to raise about $7 billion by increasing the state sales tax by a half cent (hurting those at the lower income levels) and raising income tax on those who make $250,000 or more a year.

2) The California Federation of Teachers tax initiative to raise about $6 billion for schools.

3) Activist lawyer Molly Munger and the California Teachers Association tax initiative to raise about $10 billion in taxes for schools.

4) The Contra Costa County Supervisors decision to send out ballots to property owners in regard to imposition of a “Clean Water” parcel tax. The election will cost approximately $526,500. Incidentally, we already pay a federal storm water tax on our properties, half of which stays within cities to clean storm drains and creeks and half of which goes to the County’s Clean Water Program.

Additionally, supervisors are expected to ask voters in November to approve a new parcel tax on behalf of the Contra Costa County Fire District, which has been affected by declining property tax revenues and retirement costs which continue to take a greater portion of the budget.

5) The Contra Costa Community College District is in the process of conducting a voter opinion poll seeking to gather voter support for a parcel tax on the November 2012 election ballot. Voters approved the first CCC College District local bond measure in March 2002. Measure A was for $120 million. Voters also approved a second bond measure in June 2006. That bond measure was for $286.5 million.

6) The Contra Costa Water District just approved an “adjustment” in rates and charges in order to increase revenues 3.6%. You may ask what does this mean to Antioch residents, but old timers like me know that when CCWD rates go up, the city decides to increase our rates also.

7) The Antioch Unified School District, which sought approval from property owners in the non-Mello Roos districts in 2008 for a $61,600,000 bond measure to renovate and modernize schools, is now planning to ask voters to approve an additional bond measure for further “improvements,” despite the fact that each year 3% of their budget is state mandated for maintenance.

NOTE: Property owners should be wary of casting votes for any new tax proposal. The California Franchise Tax Board intends to pursue taxpayers and tax preparers who have previously ignored a state law preventing property owners from deducting certain real estate taxes on their tax returns. The tax board is referring to charges that began appearing on tax bills after Prop. 13 limited general property tax increases.

Since then local governments and school districts have been raising revenues via voter-approved parcel taxes and other charges that will now be disallowed. The tax board will require property owners to show their parcel number and total property tax bill on their 2011 tax form in an effort to educate the public and generate voluntary compliance. Next year, however, the tax board will enforce compliance.

One Comment to “Politicians Seek to Raise Taxes Rather Than Cut Costs”

  1. Arne Simonsen says:

    Clearly, our elected officials must live in another world and fail to see how people are actually struggling.
    The proposed “Clean Water” measure is actually a “fee” and not a tax (cleaver, huh?).
    It is time for a ballot initiative to make all add-on taxes and fees to property tax bills deductible for state and federal income tax purposes!! Otherwise, we are simply being double taxed!!

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