Saturday, March 21, 2015

City Manager Report: You Have A Tax Cut Coming July 1st

As I am certain everyone knows, it took turning down Utility User Tax increase ballot measures twice to get us to this point, and you are finally going to receive the first increment of this tax cut on July 1. So when is the last time you ever got a break on your taxes, especially at the local level? Even after you voted to get it a couple of times?

We occasionally receive Federal tax breaks depending on who is currently in office in Washington DC, but since they rarely come with any commensurate decreases in spending, you get nicked in some other ways. But a local Sierra Madre tax cut? I am not sure I have ever seen such a thing happen here before, so I would have to say the answer to the above questions is almost never. And it practically took a Foothill Village civil war to get this one.

Here is how this big news is alluded to in the City Manager's Report:

Of course, you're probably going to have to fight to keep it. As we were saying just the other day ("A Shocker From Mayor Harabedian: UUT 3 Is On The Way!" - link), the city's move to put a UUT increase on the ballot next year for yet another round is now getting under way. Plus this time a parcel tax to help pay for the library could be up for a vote as well. Which is an entirely new wrinkle.

All of which means we will have now entered our sixth year in what is quickly becoming a near endless attempt by City Hall to raise utility taxes. 2012, 2014 and now, quite possibly, 2016 as well.

We will soon be posting a Special Report from the Transparent California folks on one of the purposes of utility taxes. The example will be the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power. It is some pretty damning stuff, and not at all unrelated to the kinds of pressures being exerted here to take away the hard won utility tax cuts Sierra Madre residents have now voted for twice.

Not All Mews Come From Cats

This e-mail was sent out by Jessica from Heritage Housing Partners. I'm not certain how many people got this, so I figured I should help her spread the word. Or maybe it is to help you out. Especially if you were left off their mailing list. 


This kind of has that perky yet informative feel we saw from the Kensington people when they first began rolling out their public relations campaign. Perhaps it comes from some kind of a PR template.

What we have here is the "Workforce Housing" project (not to be confused with "Duty Man Housing") at 186 W. Highland, which was previously discussed by the City Council way back on March 26, 2013. Like many such efforts, this one is being peddled to residents as part of a campaign to help bring about social justice. Which is just one of the many marketing opportunies developers can use to promote their projects in California.

You just might want to check this one out. It has the potential to get interesting.

sierramadretattler.blogspot.com

43 comments:

  1. Mews
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gyKhVQTuSj4

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  2. A mews for 2. Me and you.

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  3. Go back 10 / 15 years and look at the affordable houses that were built and look at them now. Affordable housing is just another way of creating more rack and stack of the population, also more revenue. Those affordable houses are just as expensive as the the rest of the neighborhood, check it out. If there done where they fit into the neighborhood then were lucky, if not, were not. The Kensington has kept it's promise and is an asset to the community, we are lucky, but the bottom line is that we have more people relying on our diminishing resource of water. Where does it end with how many people do we add to the list who want to share our most precious resource, water.

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    1. More proof of the old adage. If you want to sell something in California, tell people it is to save the world.

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    2. A move out of the playbook of L Ron Hubbard, heaven help us.

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    3. There have to be covenants in place for anyone to actually keep cost restrictions. It's possible, but oh so rare. What you'll find are developers insisting on one year covenants, so the places are affordable for a year after they're built - then it's 'what the market will bear.' The developers got all the concessions/incentives for building affordable housing that was only temporarily affordable.

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    4. Maybe Hubbard picked up the save the world message from Californian governmental types?

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    5. I think it comes out of the 1960s. Frank Zappa had a term for it. "Cosmic Debris."

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  4. It is sad to think that Mayor Harabedian wants to put the UUT back on the ballot, and for the third time no less. We need to keep saying no until they have no choice but to do the cutbacks needed to run the city on a 6% UUT. They should also be careful, because if they piss people off enough they'll end up with a zero percent UUT.

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  5. That is a good question. Has Sierra Madre ever had a tax cut? Is this the first one ever?

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    1. I think it is. I never remember the city cutting any taxes. They always go up, not down.

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    2. The power of the vote.

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    3. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

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    4. Just an example of what can be done when people stand up for their rights. High taxes are what happens when people are complacent and passive. Government will take your money every chance they get, and lie while they do it.

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    5. It's up to voters to cut down tax increases. Goodness knows, the City Council won't do it.

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    6. A lack of citizen resistance to tax increases gives them a big appetite.

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  6. Mews, Kensington - the names are an effort to class the place up, with a little sprinkling of British camouflage.
    Just elegance and propriety here, folks, nothing like crass commerce going on.

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    1. Mews myo͞oz/Submit - noun BRITISH - a row or street of houses or apartments that have been converted from stables or built to look like former stables a group of stables, typically with rooms above, built around a yard or along an alley.

      Stables?

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    2. The working class has to live with the livestock. The gentry prefers it.

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  7. Wasn't this property up for grabs around the Measure V time? I know the city bought it with the now defunct CRA money, and I recall Bill Tice offering to clean it up and try to restore it as a volunteer.

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    1. I think it was still a youth center during Measure V days, 9:01. If you google it, you'll find an article about it from March 2011 on Patch (remember Patch?).

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    2. That building was always supposed to be used to deal with the city's low income RHNA number. So when is the last time the city even mentioned RHNA numbers? Did that go away?

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    3. 9:07, right! The dreaded and totalitarian RHNAs.

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    4. 9:07 had a big typo. I fixed it but now 9:07 is 9:09.

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  8. Weren't there variations on this site that included buying one of the lots to the east, maybe that already happened, and building 20 or 30 units?

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  9. 3 units are proposed, so I guess that means there are 3 water meters on the site?
    3 condos are a lot better than earlier proposals, but 2 would be better.
    It looks like they are going to try and keep the existing profile.
    Historic landmark designation is very good idea.

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    1. This project is a huge improvement over anything that was proposed before.
      I am a preservationist, and this is the kind of development I hope for!

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    2. Yeah, i don't hate it. But the BS is kind of grating. Mews, workman housing, blah blah blah. I hate being talked to like I'm an idiot.

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    3. I like the project, but I could also do without the Mews.

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    4. Can we call them Barks?

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    5. How about something connected to the fact that it was a church - some Englishy churchy lingo.

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    6. Vicars Retreat?

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    7. Highland Abbey

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    8. It could be a retreat for the civil. Mild Mannered Mews.

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    9. How about Sierra Madre's first enclave for nudists? No Pants Manse.

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    10. Is there a zoning code for that? P-0 maybe?

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    11. Pretencia Place

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  10. How are we going to supply water to all the new arrivals? Will we all be paying more or is water cheaper when you need more? I don't get this whole drought problem if were increasing SM's water usage by trying to increase our population. Do the new users now pay more, less or the same as the old users. Does anyone know about fracking in CA. using up 2,000,000 gallons of fresh water a day???? I don't see how we should be paying higher prices and fines when others aren't. Should we feel discriminated against ?? There's a lot of questions to be answered here, where's our lawyer.

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  11. Change of subject , There is water info and talks in park down town today 9-5 Free stuff

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    Replies
    1. Stop by and visit with Preserve Sierra Madre. Nice folks! Learn how you can help.

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    2. Here is what the PSM email blast said:

      Dear Supporters:
      Please drop by our booth at World Water Day in Memorial Park on Saturday, March 21st from 9:00 am to 5:00 pm. It should be very informative and lots of fun.
      Bring the family and tell a friend. Attached is our flyer. We hope to see you there!
      Thank you for your support.
      Steering Committee
      Preserve Sierra Madre

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    3. Pretty good food trucks, too.

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    4. The local tax paying eateries must be impressed.

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