Monday, January 02, 2006

Do We Have Money or Not?

The city wants to raise our taxes as you all know.

Jerome Stocks wrote a letter to the North County Times back in March declaring that city finances are hunky dory.

link

Also, unlike the city of San Diego's retirement system, ours is actuarially sound and fully funded at recommended rates. We participate in the California Public Employees Retirement System, the largest pension system in the nation, and each year our portfolio is evaluated and actuarially rated to ensure proper funding.

Mark Twain popularized the saying: "There are three kinds of lies: lies, damn lies, and statistics." Your editorial ignores some basic facts about Encinitas' proposed compensation agreement and the city's fiscal health:

# Encinitas has nearly 20 percent cash reserves, and we've increased them since the year 2000.

# Encinitas has no pension-related debt or bonds.

# The employees will receive raises of 3.2 percent, roughly the rate of inflation.

# The employees, not the city, will assume the lion's share of the increased cost of the pension plan enhancement.

# Changes were made to the employee medical benefit that will help offset the city's small portion of the pension enhancement costs in future years.



If the city has so much money why do our taxes need to be raised? Here is an e-mail I received, maybe you got one as well:

Dear Friends:

As many of you know, the City of Encinitas will be conducting a mail ballot in January through March to determine the city's right to collect the $5 monthly "clean water fee".

The Encinitas Taxpayers Association is hoping to send out flyers opposing this tax increase, but cannot do so until it has sufficient funds.

There are many reasons to support the Taxpayers Association. Many of us don't like taxes. Also, it goes without mentioning that the Taxpayers Association was a huge factor in the defeat of proposition A. In my view, the best reason is the fact that our City Council seems entirely out of touch with our needs and the needs of our city. The City Manager, City Attorney and all city employees got big salary and benefit increases earlier this year. At the time, Jerome Stocks wrote a commentary in the North County Times saying how well the city was doing financially. But now we need a tax increase (supposedly). I think defeating this tax will help send a message to the Council and empower the Taxpayers Association, which appears more dedicated to protecting our interests than the city council.

I will be sending the Taxpayers Association $100 to assist its efforts to oppose this tax. I hope you can help too.

The address for donations is Encinitas Taxpayers Association, P.O. Box 46, Cardiff CA 92007

Please ask your friends and acquaintances to help.

6 comments:

  1. I go away for a few weeks and look what happens!

    ReplyDelete
  2. The city has money, but it is where the Council decides to spend the money that is the problem. They refuse to admit that there is an infinite amount in everyone's wallet and choices must be made. Their choices are for a new art administrator, bigger pension benefits, etc., and not for following state requirements. If they spend all the city money on something else, they can cry proverty and unfunded mandate.

    The Council duplicity is the padding and transferring of other department expenses to the clean water fund.

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  3. Send $70 to the ETA today. If the public is informed they will not vote for this and then the City will reimburse you with the $70+ that they owe you for collecting the illegal tax last year.

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  4. stocks DID NOT write the "lies, and statistics" quote and then follow the statement with a bunch of statistics?

    Smoooooth.

    Then he writes that the goals of the Council are "to provide leadership, oversight and require good management practices for this city." Funny how so many citizens have been pining for oversight and good management for years.

    Can you say "projection."

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  5. j.taco goes away for a few weeks, i get sick for a few weeks and shazamm!! if this new tax shift was such a super idea and a breath of fresh air for our community the council wouldn't have to shell out the bucks to the capetbagger pr firms to promote this tax garbage and try to make it smell sweeter. same with the short term rental ordinance, the city council had murphy and miller spend $15,000. of their discretionary fund to hire a sacremento lobbyist after the coastal commission dumped on the short term rental ordinance. O' course that 15K didn't come from city bake sales, came from resident taxes. and you probably never knew....

    ReplyDelete
  6. That site is haunted by the ghosts of all Ragpillians. The Ragpile will rise again!

    ReplyDelete

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