Tag Archives: tax

The Devil Made Us Equal by Mike Robbins

The Devil Made Us Equal by Michael D. Robbins Wednesday, August 10, 2016 The Devil told the people, “I’m a Democrat. Elect me and everyone will be equal. I will punish the wealthy, and the businesses and corporations. I will … Continue reading

Posted in Communism, Democrats, Ideologies, Leftism, Leftist, Marxism, National Socialism, Nazism, Politics, Progressive, Socialism, Tax Policy and Issues | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Comments Off on The Devil Made Us Equal by Mike Robbins

Mike Robbins’ Public Communications at the May 3, 2016 El Segundo City Council Meeting

First, I want to thank outgoing Mayor Pro Tem Carl Jacobson for his many decades of service to the City and the citizens of El Segundo, as Mayor, as Mayor Pro Tem, as Councilmember, on the Planning Commission, and in other capacities.

I had the privilege of serving on City Council with Carl Jacobson as mayor. We agreed on most issues, but when we disagreed, I always knew he was honest, intelligent, competent, and doing what he believed was in the best interest of the City and the citizens of El Segundo.

Second, I would like to congratulate the newly elected City Council Members, Don Brann, Carol Pirsztuk, and Drew Boyles. The City Council election turned out the way I believe will be best for our City. I am disappointed with the passage of Measure B, the 50 percent increase in the Hotel Transient Occupancy Tax.

I hope that increase in City tax revenue will not trigger a clause in the union contracts to give automatic additional COLA pay raises to the City employees. Such a clause existed in the previous union contracts. …

Any change in the way the mayor and mayor pro tem are elected should be based on what is best for the citizens of El Segundo, and should be put before the voters of El Segundo. All of the pros and cons of such a change should be carefully considered before putting the question before the voters. … Continue reading

Posted in California, El Segundo, El Segundo Election Coverage, El Segundo Hotel Transient Occupancy Tax (TOT), El Segundo Measure B TOT Tax Hike, El Segundo News, El Segundo Tax and Fee Increases, Elections, Firefighter Union Corruption, Police Union Corruption, Political Corruption, Politics, Tax Policy and Issues, Union Corruption | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Comments Off on Mike Robbins’ Public Communications at the May 3, 2016 El Segundo City Council Meeting

Recapping the Election – Letter to The Beach Reporter by Michael Robbins

Recapping the Election

Thank you to the 57 percent of voters who voted No on Measure A and to those who voted for Suzanne Fuentes and Mike Dugan. That puts our city on a better footing for negotiating with the city unions and instituting necessary compensation and pension reforms to ensure the viability of El Segundo as a city.

According to FPPC filings, four city employee unions contributed a total of $17,500 to the Yes on A campaign to raise our taxes and their pay: the El Segundo Firefighters PAC donated $5,000 on Feb. 11; the El Segundo Police Officers Association PAC donated $5,000 on Feb. 25; the El Segundo City Employees Association donated $5,000 on Feb. 28; and the California Teamsters Public Affairs Council donated $2,500 on March 11.

There’s an inherent conflict of interest when government employee unions campaign for candidates and ballot measures that will increase their salaries and pensions – and raise our taxes to pay for it. We don’t want people who live outside our city running the city for their own economic benefit.

The biggest spenders were the biggest losers. The Yes on A campaign spent $33,130 for 1,402 votes (43 percent) at a cost of $23.63 per vote. The grassroots No on A campaign received 1,841 votes (57 percent). Bill Fisher spent $19,671 for 1,545 votes (28 percent) at a cost of $12.73 per vote. One winner, Suzanne Fuentes, spent $7,927 for 2,047 votes (38 percent) at a cost of $3.87 per vote. And the other winner, Mike Dugan, spent $2,833 for 1,859 votes (34 percent) at a cost of $1.52 per vote.

Michael Robbins
El Segundo Continue reading

Posted in Beach Reporter Letters, California, 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, Letters to the Editor, Measure A - 5 New Taxes and 6 Tax Inceases, News, Police Union Corruption, Political Corruption, Politics, Tax Policy and Issues, Union Corruption | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Comments Off on Recapping the Election – Letter to The Beach Reporter by Michael Robbins

Wrong Time to Raise Taxes and Fees in El Segundo

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

March 3, 2014
Updated and expanded March 6, 2014.

This is the wrong time to raise taxes and fees on residents and businesses in El Segundo, for multiple reasons.

First, the existing three-year City employee union contracts are expiring later this year, and the City Council will negotiate new union contracts later this year after the April 8, 2014 City election. Raising taxes and fees before then will greatly weaken the City Council’s bargaining position with the unions, especially the politically active and extremely aggressive firefighter and police unions, which are the primary cause of the City’s financial problems.

Second, Mayor Bill Fisher and Councilmembers David Atkinson and Marie Fellhauer have claimed that the City’s financial problems are largely due to El Segundo receiving a lower percentage of the property taxes generated from property in the City than other cities in California receive.

That claim is false for multiple reasons.

The percentage of total property tax revenue generated in El Segundo that the City receives has not changed in many years, and the last time it changed, it went up due to the extraordinary efforts of Mayor Carl Jacobson. In fact, although El Segundo gets about 6.2% of the property tax revenues generated by property in the city, compared to the average of 11% for all 88 cities in Los Angeles County, El Segundo property values are much higher than the values in many other cities. The higher property values in El Segundo help compensate for the lower than average percent of property tax revenue allocated to the City of El Segundo.

But most striking is the fact that the City is receiving the highest amount of property tax revenues it has received in any year since fiscal year 2000/2001, and probably in the City’s entire history, as shown by the bar chart below. The FY 2012/2013 property tax revenue is at a record high of $6,332,163 – up by 46% and $1,994,509 above FY 2000/2001 property tax revenue. Property tax revenue has increased in 9 of the last 13 fiscal years, with an average yearly increase of 3.6% and $166,209.


Bar chart of the City of El Segundo, California property tax revenues for fiscal years 2000/2001 through 2012/2013, using data from official City of El Segundo records.

Mayor Fisher and Councilmembers Atkinson and Fellhauer have repeatedly berated El Segundo residents for not paying enough property taxes. City residents paid about $20,770,813 in property taxes in FY 2012/2013, which is about 20.9% of the total, of which $1,287,790 came back to the City (about 6.2%). The 20.9% figure is not surprising given that only about 25% of the city’s land area is residential property and about 75% is industrial and commercial … Continue reading

Posted in Economy and Economics, El Segundo, El Segundo News, El Segundo Tax and Fee Increases, Elections, Firefighter and Police Union Compensation and Pensions, Firefighter Union Corruption, Fraud Waste and Abuse, Government Employee Compensation and Pensions, Police Union Corruption, Political Corruption, Politics, Tax Policy and Issues, Union Corruption | Tagged , , , , , , , | Comments Off on Wrong Time to Raise Taxes and Fees in El Segundo

April 8, 2014 El Segundo General Municipal Election News and Information

Last updated: Friday, May 9, 2014 at 01:45 AM PT.

This page will be updated regularly with links to informative articles about the upcoming April 8, 2014 El Segundo General Municipal Election.

Bookmark this page and review it often for breaking news and information.

(Posts are in priority order, not chronological order; newer posts appear in bold text.)


April 8, 2014 El Segundo General Municipal Election

Ballot Argument and Rebuttal Against El Segundo Measure A Tax Hikes

City of El Segundo 2014 Measure A Tax Hikes – City Attorney’s Impartial Analysis


Recapping the Election – Letter to The Beach Reporter by Michael Robbins

El Segundo Flyer #1: Vote “NO” on Measure A – Eleven Tax Hikes in One Measure!

El Segundo Flyer #3 – Vote “NO” on Measure A, and Against BILL FISHER!

Backup Documents, Photos, and Information for Statements in Recent Flyers Distributed on April 5, 2014

El Segundo City Employee Unions Contributed $17,500 to Measure A Tax Hikes Thus Far

Have the Measure A Supporters Earned Our Trust?

City of El Segundo Can Save $3.3 Million Per Year in Employee Pension Costs

Welcome to the City of El Segundo $100K+ CalPERS Pension Club!

El Segundo Herald Misreports City’s $6.3 Million Property Tax Revenue as $1 Million

El Segundo Firefighters’ Union is Bankrolling the Measure A Campaign to Hike Taxes

El Segundo Measure A Co-Chair Joe Harding was Against the Tax Hikes Before He was For Them

Wrong Time to Raise Taxes and Fees in El Segundo

Which El Segundo City Employee was Paid Nearly $600,000 in His Last Year?

2009-2010 City of El Segundo Separations due to Budgetary Reasons Mostly Early Retirements

Eleven El Segundo Police Department Positions “Eliminated” were Actually 911 Dispatchers Transferred to the South Bay Regional Public Communications (SBRPC) Authority


LETTERS TO THE EDITOR:

April 15 Council Meeting – Letter to the El Segundo Herald by Mike Robbins

Post-election Council meeting – Letter to The Beach Reporter by Michael Robbins

Council pay procedures – Letter to The Beach Reporter by Marianne Fong

Fellhauer is a Union Puppet – Letter to the El Segundo Herald by Marianne Fong

Can We Save Mayberry? – Letter to the El Segundo Herald by Marc Rener

Recapping the Election – Letter to The Beach Reporter by Michael Robbins

Fire Union Bankrolling “Yes on A” Campaign – Letter to the El Segundo Herald by Marianne Fong

No on Measure A – Letter to The Beach Reporter by Michael Robbins

Not happy with Measure A – Letter to The Beach Reporter by Marianne Fong

No on Measure A – Letter to the El Segundo Herald by Mike Robbins

Something Fishy About Measure A – Letter to the El Segundo Herald by Marianne Fong

NO ON “A” – Letter to the El Segundo Herald by Art Lavalle

A Correction is In Order – Letter to the El Segundo Herald by Mike Robbins

No on Measure A – Letter to the El Segundo Herald by Helen Armstrong

Frustration – Letter to the El Segundo Herald by Richard J. Switz

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


Continue reading

Posted in Beach Reporter Letters, California, El Segundo, El Segundo Election Coverage, El Segundo Herald Letters, 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, Letters to the Editor, Measure A - 5 New Taxes and 6 Tax Inceases, Police Union Corruption, Political Corruption, Politics, Public Records, Public Records Act, Tax Policy and Issues, Union Corruption | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Comments Off on April 8, 2014 El Segundo General Municipal Election News and Information

A Message From Chevron El Segundo Refinery General Manager Frank Semancik

Subject: A Message From Chevron El Segundo Refinery General Manager Frank Semancik
From: Chevron El Segundo General Manager, Frank Semancik (XXXXXXXX@chevron.com)
To:
Cc:
Bcc:
Date: Friday, March 16, 2012 9:39 PM

Dear Community Leader,

Chevron is proud of the long tradition of trust and mutual respect we have with the City of El Segundo as well as the other neighbor cities and residents in the South Bay. We strive to conduct our business with the high moral values reflected in the community and, we sincerely believe we have demonstrated that commitment consistently over the 100 years our company has operated its facility in our hometown, El Segundo.

That is why it has been so disheartening and disappointing that in recent weeks, some have chosen to use deceptive tactics focused on Chevron to try and sway a local election and pit neighbor against neighbor. “Anonymous” special interests are seeking to drag our community into a debate on issues long settled by the elected representatives of the City of El Segundo. In doing so, they have completely ignored this key fact: Chevron has publicly stated its 100% commitment to work collaboratively with the City of El Segundo to resolve issues about the City’s tax structure discussed at the Council’s December 20, 2011 meeting.

We feel it’s important to set the record straight. Here are the facts:

  • The unsubstantiated rumors and allegations concerning the utility user taxes (UUT) Chevron pays in El Segundo are false and fail to accurately reflect the public record.
  • The distorted figure alleged to depict our UUT contribution to the City of El Segundo represents only a small portion of the almost $2 million Chevron pays annually in combined UUT’s.
  • Chevron’s agreement with the City is not unique, and is in fact similar to the UUT bills companies like ours pay in other local cities, including the City of Los Angeles.
  • The UUT issue being deceptively portrayed was reviewed in an open and public process with the full understanding of the City of El Segundo’s elected officials and City legal staff.
  • Public records clearly demonstrate that the City UUT ordinance was made available for public review, certified, approved, adopted, signed and attested to during a regular and open meeting of the City Council. And most importantly, the UUT ordinance was approved by every member of the City Council.

We again commit to being open and honest in our communications and, as always, welcome your interest as our valued community partner. Thank you for allowing us to set the record straight.

Sincerely,

Frank Semancik, on behalf of the Chevron El Segundo Refinery, joined by Rod Spackman, Lily Craig, Jill Brunkhardt and Jeff Wilson Continue reading

Posted in Doug Willmore's Great Chevron Shakedown, El Segundo Election Coverage, El Segundo News, El Segundo Tax and Fee Increases | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Comments Off on A Message From Chevron El Segundo Refinery General Manager Frank Semancik

Are Chevron’s Taxes Too High?

By Michael D. Robbins March 15, 2012 Are Chevron’s taxes too high? Possibly. Fired City Manager Doug Willmore gave a PowerPoint slide presentation at the December 20, 2011 regular meeting of the El Segundo City Council. He claimed that Chevron … Continue reading

Posted in Doug Willmore's Great Chevron Shakedown, El Segundo Election Coverage, El Segundo News, El Segundo Tax and Fee Increases | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Candidate Works Hard for the City – Letter to the El Segundo Herald by Carl Jacobson

False accusations are flying. It is unfortunate during this important time that I am forced to maintain silence about critical city issues. Due to pending litigation involving a personnel issue, there are many things that I am unable to discuss. Though it would be beneficial to my campaign to talk about the specifics, my responsibility to our city comes before my personal desires.

What’s behind the 1994 Chevron Settlement Agreement? Refineries use or repurpose almost all the product that comes into their facilities, utilizing their waste products to create energy sources and other products. The taxation structure of a refinery is unique because it uses its own source product to generate electricity. … Continue reading

Posted in El Segundo Election Coverage, El Segundo Herald Letters, El Segundo News, Letters to the Editor | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , | Comments Off on Candidate Works Hard for the City – Letter to the El Segundo Herald by Carl Jacobson

Excerpts from the March 1, 2012 El Segundo Herald Article on Chevron

Asked about the lack of response to Willmore and if he had formed a legal opinion on the Chevron matter, El Segundo City Attorney Mark Hensley said he could not disclose information due to attorney/client privilege. However, he pointed out that for events “that happened 20 years ago and based on statutes that go back a quarter of a century, the process of reviewing all that is lengthy. There are statute of limitations issues…Had I been asked about something that happened 20 years ago, it would take a considerable amount of time to study it.”

A Council member in 1993, Mike Robbins confirmed that “the City was going to get sued by MRC, Chevron or both—and reached a legal settlement where the City paid MRC a reduced amount, Chevron effectively paid the City the amount paid to MRC, and Chevron’s future tax liability was more clearly defined.” Robbins went on to describe MRC’s approach as “hostile and aggressive,” and felt the firm “endangered the City’s business retention and attraction program.”

Asked to elaborate why the UUT deal with Chevron was fair, Robbins explained that El Segundo is a low-tax city by choice and can’t be compared to other municipalities. He added that Chevron is a unique case because its giant 951-acre parcel is self-contained. “The City does not pay to provide and maintain all the City infrastructure and services on the massive Chevron property that it provides for all the other business and residential properties in town,” Robbins said. “These include many miles of roads, alleys, sidewalks, storm drains, water and sewer pipes, street lighting, trees, landscaping, street sweeping, residential trash collection, and police patrols, as well as public parks and recreation facilities. It is not fair to charge Chevron taxes for City infrastructure and services that it does not receive.”

Meanwhile Councilmember Jacobson, who was El Segundo’s Mayor at the time of the settlement, described MRC as a “bounty hunter” since the company stood to make a 25 percent fee. “They were trying to charge Chevron for its own gas and the Council didn’t agree,” he said. Jacobson maintained that the Chevron UUT settlement was approved in public—not closed—session. “There was nothing secret about it.” … Continue reading

Posted in Doug Willmore's Great Chevron Shakedown, El Segundo News, El Segundo Tax and Fee Increases | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Comments Off on Excerpts from the March 1, 2012 El Segundo Herald Article on Chevron

El Segundo making Chevron’s taxes too high – Letter to the Beach Reporter by Michael D. Robbins

El Segundo making Chevron’s taxes too high

The city manager’s Chevron Shakedown must stop, including efforts to extort large “gifts” of money under threat of a $10 million annual tax hike. The city will suffer long-term damage to its reputation as a good city to locate a business.

Doug Willmore used false premises to construct a deceptive one-sided analysis for the Chevron property, rather than a true cost-versus-benefits analysis. It is unfair and dishonest to compare tax revenues generated per acre by the Chevron refinery with that of other local businesses. Land use in other South Bay cities is mostly residential and not three-quarters commercial/industrial as in El Segundo.

In his one-sided analysis, Willmore ignored the cost for the city to provide and maintain infrastructure and services for residents and businesses that would otherwise exist on the massive Chevron refinery property.

If the refinery never existed, that land would be mostly residential and some commercial. Tax revenues would be much less, and the city would have to provide and maintain infrastructure and services for twice as many residents at great expense that Willmore failed to include in his seriously flawed and biased analysis. … Continue reading

Posted in Beach Reporter Letters, Doug Willmore's Great Chevron Shakedown, El Segundo News, El Segundo Tax and Fee Increases, Letters to the Editor | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Comments Off on El Segundo making Chevron’s taxes too high – Letter to the Beach Reporter by Michael D. Robbins