Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Vote no on Measure V, the proposed regressive city tax

Pacifica Tribune, My Turn guest column, 10/15/13.  "Vote no on Measure V" by Bob Hutchinson

"Vote No on Measure V.   Do you want to pay more taxes? The City of Pacifica and their high priced consultants think you do. Do you have a cell phone? Home phone? Fax? Do you use data? Texting? How about at work? How about your kids and family? Well get ready to pay hundreds of dollars more in taxes to the City of Pacifica on all cell, home, fax, data; if you don't vote NO on Measure V on November 5.

Spending our tax money to tax us?
Your money to tax you again
The proponents of this regressive tax are trying to deceive voters when they tell you this tax will go to improve sidewalks, streets, fire and police response and help the poor. They are using scare tactics mostly directed at senior citizens who they think are easy to manipulate and fool. There is nothing in this measure that says where this money must be spent. In fact they can not legally set this money aside for any of those things. It must by law go into our general fund where it will most likely be used to give raises to top employees that are already making up to $200,000.

The City made these same promises with the fire assessment tax a few years ago. They swore up and down it was needed to save three fire jobs. Then immediately after the tax passed they turned around and laid off two firemen and then they outsourced our fire department to Daly City. Don't believe the lies again.
Where they really want to spend this money is in their own pockets. If this tax passes it will mean raises for all city staff next year, over 80 of which are making from $100,000 to $200,000 in little old Pacifica. Times are still tough. Other cities like Millbrae have made some real cuts in wages. Millbrae employees agreed to a 5% across the board cut in 2012 and another 5% this year. During the same period Pacifica actually increased the amount they spent on wages by over $330,000.

Meanwhile, thousands of Pacifica families and lower income Pacificans struggle to get by. Those are the people this tax is really going to hurt, as well as Pacifica businesses who will have to pay hundreds more a year. This will hurt our economy at a time we are trying to build it back up. Even if you can afford to pay a few hundred more per year, please try and think about the thousands of less fortunate people who cannot afford this. 

The City of Pacifica has already spent $55,000 of taxpayer money to run a very sneaky campaign in order to try and raise your taxes yet again. The sole purpose of this UUT tax increase campaign is to convince you how great it will be to pay more of your money to the City.

Outrageous and mind boggling
They have been planning all this in secret for months. First the city hired a high-priced PR firm that specializes in getting taxes passed in cities. The PR firm conducted an un-scientific $20,000 phone poll with loaded questions so they got the answers they wanted. They said 60% of people said they wanted to be taxed more. Then the city announced we are in a financial emergency even though they have a $1,687,451 reserve according to the city website this May. And then they authorized an expensive special election on an off year because they know most people won't vote. This is all before they've taken any meaningful steps to reduce their own waste and overspending. 

Solution:  Vote NO on Measure V
Even the way this tax measure was written is deceptive. It says "WITHOUT RAISING THE CURRENT 6.5%". Doesn't that just sound like they don't want to raise your taxes? Very deceptive! The fact is they want to add a 6.5% tax on all your phones, data, faxes, and business lines which they estimate will cost you hundreds more per year. 

Don't be fooled by this slick ad campaign they are waging (with your money). This tax measure is bad for business, bad for people and bad for Pacifica. Tell them where to stick this tax and to live within their means before they try to take more of your money.

The City is counting on very few people showing up to vote since this is the only thing on the ballot. Spend five minutes at the polls and save yourself and others less fortunate hundreds of dollars in extra taxes.

Bob Hutchinson is a resident of Sharp Park and a member of"

With permission to reprint the full text, submitted by Bob Hutchinson

Note photographs: Man with beverage from The Guardian, "Worst ideas".  MSN Money, required sign-in page.  Next Avenue, "File taxes with less stress".USA Weekend, "Taxing issues."

Posted by Kathy Meeh

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Wanna save yourself a couple hundred dollars? Vote No on V. If you think you might not make it to the polls it's real easy to request a mail-in ballot. The postcard to do so is included in your voter pamphlet. Mail it in and in a few days you'll receive a ballot. I believe there's only 2 items on our November ballot--Measure V and a community college board seat so it's fast and easy. The Elections Office will accept completed ballots up to and including election day. Please don't skip this election. Vote NO on V.