Wednesday, August 19, 2015

Monday's Special City Council Meeting On The UUT Isn't Quite What You Might Think It Is

Sierra Madre's Historic Tax Decrease
In case you are not yet aware, there is a Special Meeting of the City Council coming up this Monday. The topic is Utility User Taxes. As you do know I'm sure, the UUT dropped here from 10% to 8% this July, and will do so once again in a year or so. Thus leaving this much unloved tax at the 6% level the residents of Sierra Madre demanded with their votes in city elections held in both 2012 and 2014.

This despite all sorts of wild and unsubstantiated claims of an impending financial apocalypse from the local chapter of the Chicken Little Party. A political faction here in town prone to unnecessary claims of doom and destruction, all while on their way to their latest big lunchtime presentation with whomever the current One Carter developer might be.

It is a rather historic event if you think about it. This is the first time ever that any taxes in Sierra Madre have actually gone down. Something that certain notable elements within the community (in particular the Police Officers Association) have had a hard time dealing with emotionally. Residents voting themselves tax cuts being anathema for those city employees who consider constantly increasing six figure compensation figures to be a right that should never ever be taken from them.

Even when those six figure city employee compensation figures are considerably more than what those paying the taxes to sustain such numbers are making.

But I digress. Cooking up yet another round of voting on the utility tax question is not what this Special Meeting of the Sierra Madre City Council is about. That could very well be coming some troublesome day, and there are a least two City Council members who dream fondly of making such a thing happen.

But this is not it. Rather it involves something called Assembly Bill 1717, which was passed on April 2nd of 2014. Here is how the website MuniServices (link) lays it out:


All of that make sense? This is also known as the Local Prepaid Mobile Telephony Services Collection Act, and what this does is allow local governments like Sierra Madre's to collect utility taxes on prepaid cell phone packages, as sold in places like Wal*Mart. Something that was beyond their reach until this bill passed in Sacramento.

In other words, it closes a loophole and increases the reach of the UUT a little. And to get in on that action Sierra Madre's City Council needs to perform a few procedural rituals and get right with AB 1717's requirements. Then they can lay their hands on that additional dough.

Which is what is expected to happen Monday evening at City Hall. It is the only item on that agenda.

Of course, if you are the owner of a prepaid cell phone package, you might not think this news is all that good. Your recourse would be to then reregister your cell phone in a no UUT city, like Monrovia.  All you'd need to do that is an address.

Preserve San Marino

There is now an organization in San Marino just like the similarly named one here. I'm sure this is causing a certain lunchless and lonely California Association of Realtors political operative in Arcadia to tear out his surgically restored hair. We are more than fine with that.

The Preserve San Marino website can be accessed by clicking here.

Here are a couple of examples of why mansionization is starting to get folks in San Marino pretty upset.


sierramadretattler.com

21 comments:

  1. McMansions really do look like castles. What is with the round thing in the middle of that thing on 1955 St. Alban's Road?

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    1. Councilmember Dennis Kneier thought it was just fine, so did Eugene Sun in City Council meeting.

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    2. They need to money to pay off their unions. That way they get lots of campaign money and can stay in power for ever. Yes, it is corruption. No surprise there!

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    3. That would explain why Kneier and Sun are both running for third terms in November even though they promised not to. San Marino residents voted for term limits to stop this kind of thing. I guess the rules don't apply to them.

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    4. This is why Councilmember Dog Poop likes McMansions. The development impact fees help pay off his campaign contributors.
      http://transparentcalifornia.com/salaries/san-marino/

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    5. 9:40 they have their own unions

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    6. Yes they do. And if you want campaign donations you'd better produce.

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  2. I drive througfh San Marino on a regular basis. The problem is much worse than these two pictures make it look.

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  3. That's the Ball Room.

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    1. That is where the large circular stairs go. For making grand entrances so your guests can admire your designer clothing as you slowly descend from above.

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    2. Like the Amber Gem Queen herself!

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  4. Well if they are going to charge the local sales tax which is much higher than the local UUT, I will get my friend in another state to buy the minutes for me and send me the code. blank SM and their UUT.

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  5. The Preserve San Marino website hasn't been updated like in a year. There is a special report in the San Marino Tribune about the corruption of mansionization in San Marino. It cited the current the Mayor Eugene Sun, a licensed real estate professional, is now the listing agent for 1450 Old Mill Road for sale at $8.8 million. The San Marino Police is investigating alleged criminal misconduct of architect Simon Lee, San Marino Design Review Committee and Planning Commission member. Surprise this is not getting any press.

    http://sanmarinotribune.com/wp-content/uploads/e_editions/2015/07/SMT-073115.pdf
    http://sanmarinotribune.com/wp-content/uploads/e_editions/2015/08/SMT-081415.pdf

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    1. Maybe the Preserve San Marino people need vitamins.

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    2. Contrast that to new Pasadena Mayor Terry Tornek's action of divesting himself from his real estate business:

      Pasadena Mayor Terry Tornek spoke candidly about a wide range of topics with business and community leaders at a University Club of Pasadena leadership luncheon on Friday.

      Coming to grips the demands of his new position, Tornek announced he will leave the real estate development and management business as soon as the building he currently has in escrow closes.

      http://www.pasadenanow.com/main/at-university-club-leadership-luncheon-mayor-tornek-speaks-candidly-on-a-wide-range-of-topics/

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    3. Did he say who would be running his real estate operations for him?

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    4. My reaction to the before and after pictures at 1955 St Albans Road? OMG.

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    5. The Old Mill Road Macmansions are some of the worst in the whole San Gabriel Valley.

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    6. That's because there's a Pasadena lawyer on DRC that's been encouraging developers to "exercise their rights" and he's protected by the gang at CC. Lives with his parents part-time.

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    7. Exercise their rights is quite a euphemism. That basically means trample the rights of those who actually live in town.

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  6. I didn't know that the Huntington Hotel expanded to St Albans Road!

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