“Reducing the Burden of Taxes” – “Advocating Open and Efficient Government”
We have had some success in conjunction with other organizations to stop new taxes. Our presence and participation in local government meetings, newspaper articles and arguments for or against ballot measures in official Solano County Voter Information Pamphlets all advocate Open and Efficient Government throughout our existence.
The Story of Measure P
The Central Solano Citizen/Taxpayer Group placed the following Opposition Argument Against Measure P on the Ballot. Here is the saga of Fairfield’s Measure P from 2012 through 2017 and on it’s way to 2033.
2012 – Measure P passed as it was only for 5 years and it would lift us out of financial difficulties during that time period.
2016 – Low and behold! The “5 year plan” was nearing its end and guess what happened, Fairfield spent so much on “necessary” expenses that once again we would need to take another trip down the sales tax road to prosperity. This time our roads would really get fixed! Here is the argument against the new & improved additional “15 year plan” that John Takeuchi put together for the CSCTG in Solano County’s 2016 Election Voter Information Pamphlet.
Fool me once, shame on you. Fool me twice, shame on me.
In 2012 Fairfield put Measure P, a 1 percent sales tax, on the ballot. Among its promises was to restore police and fire protection to full strength and to take care of our deteriorating streets. Citizens agreed and passed P. Police and fire services were restored…and then some.
The City soon replaced much of the police fleet with new SUVs. They added two new motorcycles. They instituted a project called the Homeless Intervention Team – two policemen seeking out and talking with homeless people – a task better suited to Social Services than gun-toting officers.
They re-opened a fire station. Good.
They rebuilt the reserve fund. Good.
But they continued old boondoggles like buying lobbyists in Washington, DC and Sacramento. They poured millions of dollars into the new train station overpass. Streets? Before P, the City spent about $2 million each year patching up the worst potholes. Nearly all of this money was from federal and state gasoline excise taxes. Public Works estimated that it would take about $13 million annually to do it right.
Measure P produces about $16 million each year. The City puts a bit more than $2 million of this new revenue into the streets program – a total of $4.2 million, not $13 million. Most goes into into re-sealing streets in the newer neighborhoods, not fixing our older crumbling streets.
Instead of the new tax money buying time to get the budget under control, it was back to business as usual. They never intended the tax to expire after 5 years!
They’re coming at us again – another P – now for 15 years. Does anyone think the City will try to reduce spending this time?
Fool me again? NO!
Tax Watcher Bob’s analysis – They may not have fooled the CSCTG but Fairfield voters passed this measure with plenty of votes to spare. Next paragraph is the beginning of “the rest of the story”.
November 2017 – With the costs of public service union pension plans ready to explode hands are already itching to reach into the Measure P “Pot of Gold”. Take a look at this Daily Republic Story written by By Ryan McCarthy that appeared November 29th 2017, only a year into the fifteen year “life” of this extension to the original “temporary” five year tax.
November 2016 – Solano County General Elections
The CSCTG made their case against several of the City & County Measures, along with CA Propositions in the Official Voter Information Pamphlet along with numerous newspaper articles and letters to the editor.
The actions of each election last for years, sometimes decades. Here are all the measures voted on in 2016 for Solano County and our Cities all in one place. Scroll down below the list of measure titles and click on the bold link for the one that you may be interested in.
Tax Watchers’ recommendations of State ballot measures published prior to the 2016 election, courtesy of Earl Heal.
Following are the 11 tax-related propositions and abbreviated argument summaries.
Proposition 51 authorizes $9 billion in bonds for school facilities. Proponents argue that public education is a state responsibility; yet local school districts must finance their facilities with bonds. This measure creates another unelected bureaucracy with little restraint on its spending. Even Gov. Jerry Brown opposes it.
Proposition 52 amends the state constitution to require that fees now paid by hospitals in order to qualify for federal Medicaid matching funds, be used for health care purposes, not for unrelated things. This measure is supported by nearly all medical professionals.
Proposition 53 amends the state constitution to require voter approval for any state project costing more than $2 billion. This is a small step in the right direction.
Proposition 54 requires that the final version of a legislative bill be made available on the internet and in print 72 hours before a vote. The intent is to promote “transparency” – to let citizens see what government is doing.
Proposition 55 extends the 2012 “temporary” income tax increase on people earning more than $250,000 per year until 2031. The extra tax has already resulted in thousands of individuals and small businesses leaving the state. We can expect more departures if this measure passes.
Proposition 56 increases the tax on cigarettes by $2 per pack, and proportionally on other nicotine products including e-cigarettes. Despite worthy intent, tax increases have never had much success in reducing nicotine use. In addition, revenues would be spread to some purposes unrelated to smoking-cessation. As has happened in other states, this added tax will drive cigarette sales out of state or to tax-exempt organizations such as Indian casinos.
Proposition 58 deletes parts of Proposition 227 (passed by voters in 1998) requiring that public school students be taught in English. Choice of language during instruction would be at the school’s option – a significant step backward in preparing our children for the future.
Proposition 59 is an advisory measure asking whether California’s elected officials should work for proposing and ratifying constitutional amendment(s) to overcome the Supreme Court Citizens United decision. “Citizens” removed time limits on campaigning and spending by corporations, allowing them the same latitude as unions and other private entities.
Proposition 61 claims to control prices on drugs; but mostly creates another bureaucratic maze that allows certain suppliers to raise prices. It will increase costs for providers and customers, including veterans.
Proposition 63 will require background checks to purchase ammunition – adding more cumbersome requirements for merchants and purchasers. It is another attempt to make the entire state a “gun-free zone” – ignoring the fact that such laws have failed to reduce gun-related crime anywhere. This law would be found unconstitutional if challenged in the courts; but at great expense for Second Amendment advocates and for taxpayers who pay the state’s lawyers.
Proposition 65 changes a 2014 law that required grocers and other merchants to charge 10 cents for carry-out bags. Stores still keep the money; but it will be taxed as revenue to them. This is just another way to make merchants tax collectors; and to tax citizens without calling it a tax.
April 12, 2014 -Fairfield City Council Meeting.
A project labor agreement that a critic says could add $12.2 million to the cost of planned train station development went before the City Council for discussion. Despite the efforts of the Central Solano Citizen/Taxpayer Group and Associated Builders and Contractors Northern California the PLA was approved.
Below are a some more of our accomplishments from years gone past.
✰ Union Sponsored Project Labor Agreements (P.L.A.’s)
✰ Proposition 56
✰ Regional Measure 2
✰ Measure H (2006)
Union Sponsored Project Labor Agreements (P.L.A.’s) – The unions are pushing project labor agreements on many projects which increase project and labor costs due to many union work rule limitations, decreased competition, which further drive up the costs to the taxpayers on taxpayer paid projects. The Central Solano Citizen/Taxpayer Group opposes Project Labor Agreements and urges government agencies to avoid such costly and burdensome constraints on their projects.
Proposition 56 – This deceptive measure, also known as “The Blank Check Initiative, pretends to discipline Sacramento politicians, but it actually rewards them with an open-ended blank check. It makes it easier for the Legislature to increase property, income, sales and other taxes, year after year, without justification or bipartisan consensus. CSCTG worked tirelessly to help educate the public on what these politicians were trying to pass and the effects this proposition would have by running media campaigns in local papers, presenting an extensive PowerPoint presentation to local groups, passing out flyers at several local post offices and stores as well as creating this web site. This proposition was overturned by our voters!!!
Regional Measure 2 – This measure produces a 50% toll hike on bridge tolls to supposedly provide $100 Million toward the I-80/680 Interchange project’s $740 Million to $1 Billion cost for repairs. CSCTG worked tirelessly to help educate the public on the effects this measure would have by running media campaigns in local papers, passing out flyers at several local post offices and stores. This measure was not passed in Solano County but because it was a regional measure, several of the other counties passed it.
Napa and Solano, the only two counties in the Bay Area without sales taxes to help pay for transportation improvements, were rejected new sales tax proposals. $8 billion in transportation ballot measures were approved by other counties in 2004.
Residents of the two holdout counties faced separate ballot measures — both titled both titled Measure H — that asked them to raise their sales taxes by half a cent to improve roads and build long-awaited projects such as a new freeway interchange at Cordelia Junction in Solano County and the widening of Highway 12 through Jameson Canyon in Napa County.
In Solano, where the sales tax would raise an estimated $1.6 billion over 30 years, a majority of voters were turning down the tax proposal. By contrast, slightly more than half of Napa voters were backing their Measure H, which would raise about $537 million over 30 years. But their support was well behind the required two-thirds majority.