The following letter to the editor was published in the El Segundo Herald newspaper (HeraldPublications.com) on Thursday, April 7, 2016 in the Letters section on page 14. The El Segundo Herald has a strict 250-word limit, including the title.
Is Marie Fellhauer Endangering Proposition 13?
Marie Fellhauer and Dave Atkinson are campaigning as conservatives, but the facts prove otherwise. Fellhauer and Atkinson even endorsed Scott Houston for Water Board Director after he ran as a self-described Progressive (ultra-liberal) for Democratic Party County Central Committee, and after he lobbied City Council to enact Measure P (to outsource our local fire department to L.A. County) directly into law without letting us vote on it.
Marie Fellhauer, Dave Atkinson, and Bill Fisher have repeatedly blamed El Segundo’s financial problems on Proposition 13 and the lower percentage of property taxes coming back to El Segundo compared to other cities. However, El Segundo has higher property values than most California cities, which helps compensate for that. Also, roughly three-fourths of the land area in El Segundo is commercial or industrial, producing significantly more tax revenue and costing significantly less for City services than residential property.
Fellhauer claims she will get the state legislature to increase the percentage of property taxes coming back to El Segundo. However, she fails to identify which cities will volunteer to give up some of their percentage so El Segundo can have more.
Fellhauer may be playing with fire and opening up a Pandora’s Box by encouraging the state legislature to change Proposition 13. One possible outcome might be weakening or eliminating Proposition 13 altogether and going back to the days when homeowners, especially the elderly, were taxed out of their homes by greedy tax-and-spend politicians and government employee unions.
– Mike Robbins
October 1, 2014
The Howard Jarvis Taxpayers Association (HJTA), founded by California Proposition 13 sponsor Howard Jarvis, has honored former El Segundo City Councilman Mike Robbins as a “Hometown Hero” for leading the successful campaign to defeat Measure A in the April 8, 2014 El Segundo General Municipal Election. Measure A had ELEVEN tax hikes in one ballot measure!
Here is the article in their official statewide newsletter, Taxing Times, Vol. 40, Issue 3 for Fall 2014:
HJTA was very pleased to receive the following update from former El Segundo councilman Mike Robbins after local Election Day, April 8. Here are excerpts:
We had a great victory in El Segundo last night! The citizens and taxpayers won, and the city-employee unions with lots of campaign money and a significant conflict of interest lost – AGAIN!
Thank you to everyone who helped.
El Segundo Measure A, ELEVEN TAX HIKES IN ONE MEASURE, taxing RESIDENTS and BUSINESSES, lost by 57% NO to 43% YES, despite the “Yes on A” campaign spending a whopping $33,129.87 in small-town El Segundo, including $17,500 from four city-employee unions – $5,000 from the fire union, $5,000 from the police union, $5,000 from the city employees’ union, and $2,500 from the California Teamsters Public Affairs Council in Sacramento (supervisory and professional employees’ union) at a cost of $25.74 per vote.
Measure A would have created new taxes on residents for electricity, water, gas, and all forms of “communications services,” including landline telephones, cell phones, Internet, cable TV, and satellite, to pay for excessive compensation and pensions for city employees. Firefighters and police are paid $150,000 to more than $380,000 each in total compensation per year.
I, together with two other former El Segundo City Council members, and two other long-term city residents, co-authored and submitted an argument against Measure A and a rebuttal to the argument for Measure A, and I authored and distributed two one-page double-sided campaign flyers on Saturday, April 5, and a third on Sunday, April 6.
The HJTA hat is off to Mike and other active El Segundo taxpayers who made this victory possible.