Daily Archives: March 14, 2014

Ballot Argument and Rebuttal Against El Segundo Measure A Tax Hikes

by Michael D. Robbins
Director, Public Safety Project, PublicSafetyProject.org

March 14, 2014

The Measure A tax hikes will appear on the ballot for the April 8, 2014 El Segundo General Municipal Election.

Measure A creates four new taxes on residents, nearly doubles five existing business taxes, and creates a new parking tax. Measure A will cost residents and businesses an estimated $6.6 million each year in the first three years. However, all residents will pay the business tax increases that are passed on to them as customers in addition to the four new taxes imposed on residents.

The Measure Tax hikes are permanent. There is no sunset clause (expiration date). It has become clear that most or all of the Measure A tax hikes will go to pay for excessive and unsustainable past and future City employee pay raises and benefits and pension increases – especially for the firefighter and police unions and their managers. Measure A is not intended to help the City engage in responsible spending during a temporary economic downturn. Recessions are temporary, but apparently, wildly excessive and unsustainable City employee union and manager pay raises are permanent.

Measure A was put on the ballot by a vote of the El Segundo City Council. Council Members Suzanne Fuentes and Carl Jacobson requested a sunset clause so the taxes would expire after a few years and the Council would have to come back to the voters for further tax hikes, but they were denied that request by Mayor Bill Fisher and his Council majority including David Atkinson and Marie Fellhauer.

Here are the official Argument Against Measure A and Rebuttal to Argument in Favor of Measure A that appeared in the Sample Ballot and Voter Information Pamphlet mailed out by the El Segundo City Clerk’s office. … Continue reading

Posted in California, Economy and Economics, El Segundo, El Segundo Election Coverage, El Segundo News, El Segundo Tax and Fee Increases, Elections, Firefighter and Police Union Compensation and Pensions, Firefighter Union Corruption, Government Employee Compensation and Pensions, Police Union Corruption, Political Corruption, Politics, Tax Policy and Issues, Union Corruption | Tagged , , , , , , , , , | Comments Off on Ballot Argument and Rebuttal Against El Segundo Measure A Tax Hikes

Measure ‘A’ – Letter to the El Segundo Herald by Richard J. Switz

Measure ‘A’

While reviewing my sample ballot, Measure ‘A’ reminded me of an old carpenter helpers’ comment, to wit: “I’ve cut this board off twice, and it is still too short!”

Measure ‘A’ proponents say our tax structure for businesses is lower than neighboring cities… isn’t that the way it should be if we intend to attract new business? I’m befuddled to hear Council candidates tout a need for new business on the one hand, while at the same time strongly support measures for increasing taxes on the other.

Measure ‘A’ has the strong flavor of a Council wanting additional revenue, although supportive comments are weak to justify the need. Councils’ resolution mentions a fraction of the added revenue might be set aside for City projects, although this is a far cry from a Council commitment explaining how funds would be used; resolutions have no enforceable mechanism. Readers are urged to continue reading their ballot carefully to learn of several additional flaws in the proposition.

Speaking of surrounding cities I was surprised to learn, based on a simple Google search the stark difference between our current budget and that of Manhattan Beach. A rough comparison shows our budget is approximately twice that of Manhattan Beach, even though they likely have twice our population.

I hope this letter motivates you to demand that our elected officials do a better job … Continue reading

Posted in California, El Segundo, El Segundo Election Coverage, El Segundo Herald Letters, El Segundo News, El Segundo Tax and Fee Increases, Elections, Letters to the Editor, Measure A - 5 New Taxes and 6 Tax Inceases, Politics, Tax Policy and Issues | Tagged , , , , , , , , | Comments Off on Measure ‘A’ – Letter to the El Segundo Herald by Richard J. Switz