Bankrupt California city to vote on sales tax hike

July 10, 2013

moneyThe city of Stockton, which last year became the largest U.S. city to file for bankruptcy, will vote on whether or not to raise taxes to help ease its financial troubles. [News10]

The Stockton City Council voted Tuesday night to place a measure on the city ballot that would raise sales tax three-quarters of a cent, increasing it from 8.25 percent to 9 percent.

Stockton City Manager Bob Deis says the increase would raise more than $300 million over 10 years. If approved by the voters, a third of the new revenue would go to helping get Stockton out of bankruptcy while the city would use the rest of the money to hire 120 new police officers.

Since filing for bankruptcy in July 2012, Stockton has lost many of its police officers, who fled while facing salary and pension cuts. The city has also suffered an increase in crime over the last year.

Prior to bankruptcy, Stockton issued a pension obligation to help pay down its unfunded pension liabilities. However, the market crashed, and the city fell deeper in debt.

San Luis Obispo, which has more than $100 million in unfunded pension liabilities, is currently considering issuing a pension obligation bond.

Likewise, San Luis Obispo voters will determine next year whether the city’s half cent sales continues beyond March 2015. The half-cent tax, known as Measure Y, brings in about $6 million a year.


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All of the people responsible for Stockton’s mess are retired on guaranteed fat pensions, and live elsewhere. Until there is accountability in government the rape will continue. Only a fool would vote to give government another penny, like the fools in California who granted the state billions “for the children”, last November. We way for the people to rise up is to stop funding every government feel good tax and start demanding pension and labor reform!

Never going to happen. The mental infection starts very early (especially in CA) and is cast in stone with Common Core State Standards. It’s big-government / nanny all the way, and for many this has been GENERATIONAL, so it is like giving freedom and the right to vote to tribal muslims. It just will not stick.

I just read that today the psych technicians for the State of California got a 4.5% raise, along with the 7% the 95,000 state workers recently got, and then there is the engineers and CHP who all recently got raises, and let us not forgot the legislators, their aides and the governor also just got raises. And so it starts, we now see where the sales tax money is really going and so it should, the unions didn’t contribute the $2 Million for the campaign for nothing. I would vote for one single tax increase until all government get their pension at age 65 just like the rest of us and use the same formula as social security. They are certainly no better than the taxpayers paying their salary. There is no reform where the State or cities pay their share and the employees pay their equal share just like the social security paid by the employer and the employee. Anyone want to talk about the $1 billion the State owes PERS, and another $1 billion the State borrowed from all the funds, the train going nowhere but Diane Feinstein’s husband’s bank account, or how the State is going to pay for all the illegals getting free health care compliments of democrats, or the millions per day that the Teacher’s retirement fund needs. Yup, keep giving the government your hard earned money because they can spend it better and faster than anyone, and there is never enough.

Everyone will just go outside the city limits to shop, thus killing all the businesses in town. Remember, they have to pay their people big bucks so they only get the best and the brightest!

Are people really stupid enough to give the govt that bankrupted their city more tax dollars? Fool me once——

We do it in SLO all the time.

Maybe not always a direct (measure Y) tax, but fines, fees and levies are constantly increased. How’s that water rate? How about all those cool taxes and crap on a phone bill? 3.5 cent gas tax increase (state): yes, please.

I am reminded of Kevin Bacon in Animal House: “Thank you, sir, may I have another!” *whack*

(except it’s not a paddle at our backside…)

I’m guessing the Gov’s surplus will bail Stockton out…AAAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA

missing Bill (surplus) Clinton these days eh.

Just one more example of a city that was totally mis-managed and now the citizens will be ‘asked’ to pony up and pay for managements mistakes!

Would be nice to see the salary decreases of all city employees, starting with Mr.Bob Deis. And I mean true, absolute compensation decreases – not some funny stuff about salary/benefits being delayed until citizens cough up more money. Postponing salary and benefits has no real impact – only gives the message that management can screw uip, but are not held financially liable.

Before anyone responds that this may not mean a lot – it would make a statement that city management is part of it – but only if their compensation cut is real, not just postponed (such as was done in Paso Robles).

Wasn’t it also done in Atascadero, when management took furlong days but gave themselves more personal time to compensate, and then Mr. McKinney walked away with a huge windfall, to the tune of over $140,000?

The best is yet to come about McKinney. The shadows of Gearhart are getting closer to Atascadero. May that be why he left for Indian Wells? It’s been very hot down there. That may be the message that he can burn there.

Half the money will be used to hire 200 police officers, some new and a few re-hires. Sounds like there is more than money problems in Stockton. In fact…. based on local conversations in Paso Robles…. is this an advance warning about Atascadero???

We the people have created a monster, it’s called a Bureaucrat, and no matter how much money we give this monster we will always be held hostage. No matter how much we give, we will never be able to give enough to satisfy this monsters appetite for our hard earned money.

If you’re under the illusion that big government equal civility, boy do I have a bridge to sell you.

I’m as interested in your bridge, what do you think about the ideas presented in the link?

Really, Zaphod… Prisons, full! County jails, full! Courts overrun! Rape crime up. General robbery up. Bank robberies, up. Drug crime, up. Murders, up. Bank crimes, up. Mortgage crimes, up. White crime, up! Government crimes, up. Etc, etc. etc… Whose civilized world are you looking at?

Since Zaphod chooses to reply with links which may be great reference footnotes but unrealistic for most to use in a format like this, I will try to summarize at least one point.

Some of the things you list are false impressions — created by a bombardment of media attention to whatever current outrage can be found in the world. Modern news media output seems to be expanding exponentially and they need to fill their coverage with grabbing stories to survive. The internet in particular makes this easy. Crimes about which you would not have heard unless they occurred locally 40 years ago are now made into national media circuses (i.e. George Zimmerman trial.)

Rape reporting is way up but I suspect that actual rapes aren’t — and may be down. There have always been crooked politicians. If they are worse now (a point with which I agree), it is because they have been so successful at legalizing their corruption.

I think government is a mixed blessing. It does some good things that wouldn’t get done if left to the private sector such as fighting discrimination and protecting the environment.

It is often imperfect in how it goes about these actions and can often become excessively controlling due to the fact that imperfect people create and manage such programs. (The APCD may be a fine example of bureaucrats with a huge incentive — their funding — to make mountains out of molehills as a form of job protection.) What we can and should do is watch for abuses of power and take the time to think realistically about consequences of proposed actions.

Still, I remember when the air quality in LA was worse than today despite a much smaller population and I haven’t heard of any rivers in Ohio catching on fire recently. While discrimination still exists, it is far less prevalent and far more suppressed than when I was a kid. The National Center for Disease Control and government funding for research has helped greatly with many diseases — although ones related to lifestyle choices remain a challenge. The internet and GPS came from Defense Dept. programs.

There have been failures too and some of them are due to bureaucratic greed and failure to correctly foresee consequences. But, in the balance, if life today is worse than it was a generation or three back, it is also better in some ways. Where the balance lies is largely a matter of values and perception. I am as concerned about excessive expansion of government as you are but more because of its use in creating increasing economic disparity than because of its costs. (Compare upper income tax rates with the 1950’s — a period of American prosperity — and you will see what I mean.)

Interesting! I did not know that.

I wonder if this calls for a majority vote where the tax collected has to be spent on what was reported here? If not I do not see how the measure could ever gain any support because it would just be additional funds put into the general fund and be business as usual.

Somehow Paso voters said yes to a sales tax hike last November. The city mgr & council claimed the money will be used to fix the roads (haven’t seen much improvement yet) but the money’s just going into the general fund. Maybe Stockton will stupidly follow Paso’s lead.

It’s ok to say NO to drugs and have ZERO tolerance for taxpayer abuse.