Before the COVID crisis this county had a poverty rate of 21%. You can bet it's much higher now.

Yet amazingly the city council is seriously considering spending eighty thousand of our tax dollars for election costs plus tens of thousands more on a PR firm in order to pursue a sales tax increase that will cost a family of four an additional $800 in sales tax every year!

And for what? A futile attempt to maintain unfunded liabilities that have spiralled out of control and are destroying city finance.

Sales taxes are regressive and hurt the poor and working classes the most. So if the so-called progressives on this council who claim to care so much for poor and working people go through with this they will be exposed as hypocrites, frauds and tools of special interests.

And Chico's infrastructure was falling apart long before COVID and the Camp Fire. For many, many years this city council and prior councils have been diverting tens of millions of dollars that should have gone for the roads and other necessities to ridiculous employee compensation, especially pension and other post-employment benefits that are completely unaffordable and unsustainable.

Trying to maintain this unconscionable status quo of excessive compensation, especially multi-million dollar pensions and other post-employment benefits for city bureaucrats and other city employees, on the backs of poor and working people is shameful.

Their sales tax increase won’t solve the unfunded liability problem so what will they do? Use the money from the sales tax increase to get us hundreds of millions more in debt! AND THEY WON'T TELL THE VOTERS THAT BEFORE AND DURING THE ELECTION! They have never mentioned it before.

Neither did EMC, the propaganda firm they hired to con the voters into raising the sales tax with their sham survey. Why didn't EMC ask the people they polled if they would approve the use of their sales tax money to take on more debt?

Before the election will they inform the public that money from the sales tax increase will be used to take on more debt? If they don't mention it, it shows just how immoral they are.

Saddling the poor and everyone else with higher taxes and more debt in a futile attempt to maintain an unfair and unsustainable status quo is immoral, particularly the debt they will be putting on the kids! Taking on more debt while the city is drowning in unfunded liabilities is the height of irresponsibility.

Instead they should reform the unfunded liabilities but as tools of special interests that’s the last thing they will do. We MUST defeat their sales tax increase.

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Joseph Azzarito about 1 month ago

I am vehemently opposed to a sales tax increase of any kind. Desirable traits of government do not include lying to our face while omitting facts. Both CARD and now council are doing it. Vote down this ordinance 5.2 or risk your position come November. Our city can least afford a general fund, unrestricted hit at this time.

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Joseph Azzarito about 1 month ago

This second attempt at convincing our city council to reject the proposed sales tax increase is essential. Our citizens, making much less than the overseeing officials set to benefit, can not afford such a general fund fiasco.

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Joseph Azzarito about 1 month ago

Let al of Chico know the truth behind this charade. Come out from behind the curtain of California Rule and cut your salaries 50%, albeit voluntarily so as to properly have funding for repaving, not patching the cities hundreds of pot holed and destroyed roads. What if we, whose cars are damaged, began suing the city for repairs due to disgusting roadways? What if we stopped the act of tipping for services? All government employees are for tax increases , for from them come their salaries.

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Joseph Azzarito about 1 month ago

Unfunded pension Liability is the real elephant in the room. Because of "The California Rule" in the California State Constitution, our State Supreme court has affirmed that pensions for state and municipal employees are contracts, virtually untouchable, unlike salaries and other fringe benefits. With that, local community expenses will forever take a back seat when cities budget and expend their revenues. Since these public sector employees are set for life, what with exorbitant wages compared to their constituents, along with guaranteed colas and pay raises, backed by supportive unions, city services benefitting the public will forever be left to rot. Public roads have been, for decades, been left to crumble. Putting a shuffle of asphalt, padded down, on large pot holes quickly become enormous ones with heavy traffic and rainfall. Couple that with multiple excavations for sewer and other underground facilities, by less than competent workers, the result is destruction of untold vehicle alignments. Does the city care, I bet not. Along comes this diabolical sales tax increase that's set to solve it all. We know where this money will go - first to that unfunded pension liability due to it going into the general fund. Were they serious about its usage, they would take their chances on a 2/3 designated fund route. But they aren't! As Dave Howell points out, the devil is in the details. Council plans to approve an enormous bond measure that will eat up most of the tax proceeds, leaving a paltry amount for roads, if it is used for that at all. Back now to the California Rule. Alexander Volokh wrote for the Federalist Society a wonderful analysis entitled Overprotecting Public Employee Pensions: The Contract Clause and the California Rule. Alexander proposes five potential fixes: 1)Short term contracts 2)Flexible definition of benefits 3) State constitutional amendment 4) Changing state case law through state supreme court appointments 5) Privatization. Here is the link to read the article for yourself and learn what can be done: https://reason.org/wp-content/uploads/files/overprotecting_pensions_california_rule.pdf. Do not let the city of Chico off the hook. We need our roads repaved, not patched and all of the beneficiaries of this largesse should pay 100% for their own pensions and cut their salaries to much more realistic levels in line with those they are supposed to be serving. Demand nothing less and tell these folks to tell us all of the story and not to listen to the high paid consultants, who will tell you what you want to hear but not the truth. After all they make their money by successfully passing their ideas along.

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Joseph Azzarito about 1 month ago

Entering comments here is extremely difficult. I have tried entering the above comment for over an hour. Each time I complete my comment and hit post, I am unable to enter my e-mail and password. Instructions on use are definitely alcking

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