California's High Taxes
Original post made
by Stacey, Amberwood/Wood Meadows,
on May 8, 2009
While Sandy seems busy reposting apparent Letters to the Editor regarding Measure G, here's some opinions that may put things into perspective:
"We have the highest state income tax rates in the nation, one of the top sales tax rates (even before the 1-cent increase) and the highest corporate tax rates in the West.
Proposition 13 has given California a low property tax rate. But because of high real estate prices, the property tax burden is near the national average. Besides, many school districts have adopted parcel taxes and bond measures.
Overall, California ranks sixth in the nation, measured by the percentage of income spent on state and local taxes, according to the Tax Foundation, a nonprofit think tank in Washington, D.C.
The problem with California's tax system is not necessarily the average amount of revenues raised over time. It is the volatility of some state taxes."
"In years past, we planned as if income tax revenues, driven by capital gains, would continue to soar; that property tax values, driven by housing prices, were limitless; that returns on public investments, driven by the stock market, could only go up. And that demand for services, driven by population increases, would continue rise steadily and consistently.
Using those assumptions, public agencies floated bonds to build new facilities, hired new staff, negotiated generous government worker wages and promised benefits and pension to employees that were unmatched in the private sector. We're now seeing that the financial house was built on an unstable foundation that has started to crumble and threatens to bring down the entire structure.
There is much pain ahead. Jobs will be cut and services curtailed, hurting the neediest among us the most. Salaries must be trimmed. Benefits must be brought under control. Sadly, much of the cost is being irresponsibly pushed off through borrowing onto the next generation.
This was avoidable. If only our leaders had remembered during the good times that we need to set aside money for a rainy day. If only they had heeded warnings that the economy could slip; tax revenues could falter; the housing and stock markets could tank; and, yes, as we saw this month from the state Department of Finance, even population growth could slow.
It should all serve as a reminder that, just as most of us at any time could lose our source of income and should maintain savings accordingly, so too are our public agencies vulnerable to major swings in revenues.
Our local leaders should keep solid reserves on hand to buffer against the downturns and resist the temptation to commit to programs, salaries and benefits that are only sustainable when times are good."
Posted by Pete
a resident of Downtown
on May 12, 2009 at 9:16 am
How is this for some waste and what we are supporting with our tax money.
There is a good editorial in the Sacramento Bee today on the public employees who are making more than $100,000 per year in pensions. You can find it at: Web Link . They reference a website www.californiapensionreform.com where you can do a search by agency to see those making more than $100,000 in pensions. For Pleasanton, there are currently 22 retired Pleasanton personal making over $100,000 per year in pensions.
Search by First, Last or Full Name Search by Employer
CLICK HERE TO RETURN TO TOP 10 LIST
Name Monthly Annual Employer Name
TIMOTHY NEAL $14,035.34 $168,424.08 PLEASANTON
STEWART GARY $13,168.05 $158,016.60 PLEASANTON
SUSAN ROSSI $12,499.04 $149,988.48 PLEASANTON
GARY TOLLEFSON $11,854.06 $142,248.72 PLEASANTON
JOHN GOODWIN $11,482.71 $137,792.52 PLEASANTON
BRIAN SWIFT $10,523.83 $126,285.96 PLEASANTON
DAVID RADFORD $10,451.79 $125,421.48 PLEASANTON
THOMAS BRAMELL $10,361.76 $124,341.12 PLEASANTON
ERIC CARLSON $10,271.48 $123,257.76 PLEASANTON
WILLIAM EASTMAN $9,770.95 $117,251.40 PLEASANTON
JOSEPH BUCKOVIC $9,407.05 $112,884.60 PLEASANTON
MICHAEL STJOHN $9,275.80 $111,309.60 PLEASANTON
CHRISTOPHE DICKINSON $9,092.33 $109,107.96 PLEASANTON
SEAN CHAPMAN $8,856.90 $106,282.80 PLEASANTON
CARL COUSINEAU $8,821.74 $105,860.88 PLEASANTON
MAUREEN LAURENCE $8,780.15 $105,361.80 PLEASANTON
PAUL HELMS $8,691.66 $104,299.92 PLEASANTON
GREGORY WIXOM $8,593.63 $103,123.56 PLEASANTON
STEVEN ROSS $8,583.76 $103,005.12 PLEASANTON
PAUL MOLKENBUHR $8,555.76 $102,669.12 PLEASANTON
DONALD SAULSBURY $8,408.28 $100,899.36 PLEASANTON
WILLIAM HALVORSEN $8,382.22 $100,586.64 PLEASANTON
My guess is Roush will be near the top of this list once he retires, especially since the Council is voting to give him a raise JUST BEFORE RETIREMENT and MAKING IT RETROACTIVE so he can get an even higher pension. I think this would be a great article for the weekly. Hope they pick this up and be trule informative to our residents on our pensions. On top of this we also have a mostly unfunded liability on retiree medical to the tune of over $100 million! That is just Pleasanton. The Pleasanton School District has a completely unfunded liability of over $11 million in retiree medical. Now with the losses in the pension fund, the taxpayers are on the hook since these retirees have guaranteed income (defined benefit). The retiree medical will also eat us alive since insurance rates keep going up. While the city has a little control at the high end for payout in the end of the next contract, the school district has no cap, and we as taxpayers are on the hook for the medical insurance, no matter what the cost is.