Antioch city staff to research conversion to charter city, increasing property transfer tax

By John Crowder

For the second time in as many weeks, Antioch resident and real estate broker, Mark Jordan proposed to the Antioch City Council the idea of converting the city from a general law to a charter city as a way to increase city revenue and to deal with unfunded retirement obligations. At the April 28, 2015 council meeting, Jordan addressed the members during public comments.

Referring to the budget discussion taking place during a special session, that night, he began his remarks by saying, “Unfortunately, in three or four years, there won’t be any money for anybody. The funds that would be generated [by converting to a charter city], while they would generally go to the General Fund, the only way I could really support a transition to a charter city would be if all the money goes to pay the unfunded retirement obligations. That is really the gigantic elephant standing in the room.”

I would also want to see an overhaul of the retirement system for the city,” Jordan continued. “We need to move to a defined retirement contribution program, so that we’re not constantly looking at budgets six years down the road with twenty, thirty-million dollar deficits, or empty city hall and no services being provided.”

At the previous council meeting, on April 14, Jordan had explained that converting to a charter city would generate additional revenue by allowing the city to increase the real estate transfer tax. At that meeting, he stated that increasing the rate from the current $1.10 per $1,000 to $13 per $1,000 would have generated additional revenue of about $81 million over approximately ten years. On a $300,000 home sale, that would increase the transfer tax from $330 to $3,900.

Antioch City Manager Steve Duran, in response to an email request, wrote of Jordan’s proposal, “It’s an idea worth considering. Staff is going to do some research as to the pros and cons and report back to the City Council this fall to get their direction on the matter.”

Mayor Wade Harper, who was also contacted via email by Antioch Herald staff, provided his thoughts on the issue.

I appreciate Mr. Jordan bringing the idea forward regarding making Antioch a charter city,” he wrote. “We have to continue to look for good ideas. As we are researching and vetting the process I must always be able to answer the question, ‘How does this make Antioch better?’ At this point, I don’t have a position on the matter, as I would have to weigh how the community feels about a charter city. We do have a strategic plan in place. Conversion to a charter city is not listed in the current strategic plan.”

The next city council meeting is scheduled for Tuesday, May 12, at 7:00 p.m. The council will hold a public hearing on water use restrictions due to the drought. Meetings take place in the City Council Chambers, located at 200 H Street or can be viewed on Comcast Channel 24 or via live stream video on the city’s website at

2 Comments to “Antioch city staff to research conversion to charter city, increasing property transfer tax”

  1. Karl dietzel says:

    The problem is not to convert into a charter city ,
    The problem is, that we still will have the very, same elected
    Officials , and the very same city leaders in Place.
    The people of antioch has given the city measure c,
    Measure o, 18% higher property tax income, and
    The city still has a spending problem.
    Our budget is at pre- ressecion level, with about
    100 employes less, but our crime, blight, economic grow,
    Infrastructure is out of control.
    Per city staff, we’re facing deficit spending 2016-17
    At the latest. We’re giving out raises like there is no tomorrow,
    Still missing 16 of the 22 promised , authorized and
    Funded police officers.

    No, no and absolutely no

  2. Dale says:


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