|Just don't call it my cop union payoff. No, really.|
Just to put this all in perspective, the 12% utility tax Harabedian's Revenue Committee is pushing for would be the highest such rate in California. A kind of notoriety not everyone here might enjoy. A website called California City Finance.com (link) contains some fairly inconvenient information, especially for tax hikers. Including the following chart that clearly shows that a 12% utility tax rate does not even exist in California right now.
As you can see, a 12% UUT would literally be off the chart. Out there on a planet all its own. But it isn't just that, this is also about what exactly would be taxed. Check out this next chart.
While all of the above categories are considered utilities and therefore subject to a UUT, Sierra Madre is among that very tiny minority of cities that taxes each and every one of them. Couple that with a never before seen 12% utility tax rate and you can see how Sierra Madre would be by far the most utility taxed in the state.
This will be the second item on Tuesday evening's City Council agenda. Judging by the quite petite number of items on the roster, they do plan on spending quite a bit of time on this topic. Which makes sense. Acting in direct defiance of the twice voted will of the people is not exactly an easy thing to do. Expect there to be large amounts of talk. That usually is the case when a small group of people are attempting to defy a twice democratically enacted decision.
Here is part of the explanation from the City Manager's staff report (link):
The Staff Report is written in a way that suggests that this Revenue Committee was completely in accord with a 12% UUT, and that this decision was unanimous. However, that is not true. There was considerable disagreement, something that City Manager Aguilar somehow decided to airbrush from her report.
The Big Fib
Contained in the City Manager's staff report is this rather embarrassing rationale for overturning the democratically determined results of two elections.
Facts my tookus. How a small gathering of the usual poorly informed tax supporters (and in a garage no less) can be considered a city-wide consensus to overturn two election results and raise utility taxes to the highest level in the entire state is beyond me.
Then again, maybe that is the best these people can do.