It is a veritable laundry list of fine community institutions, each with a city issued knife held to its exposed throat in lieu of more of your tax money.
Here is how the City's fallacious ballot argument nonsense goes:
Robert Fellner of Transparent California fame has generously prepared a series of charts for us that detail where your money is really being spent, and where it isn't. And despite what you might have heard, most of the increased spending has basically gone to just one place, that being the Sierra Madre Police Department.
When you consider that the UUT rate has been pretty much been stuck at 10% for years (with the exception of the last 6 months when it inched down slightly to 8%), you'd figure that expenditures would have also stayed level. But, of course, they didn't. If they had the city would not be facing the deep financial trouble it is dealing with now.
The reason the City of Sierra Madre is in the deep money hole it is today has little to do with a 2% utility tax cut spread out over the last six short months. Instead it is that steep and steady rise of public safety expenditures, in particular those for the Sierra Madre Police Department. As you will see from this first chart, while all other expenses have basically stayed level, public safety costs have increased yearly.
This next chart breaks it all down for us by detailing the various categories. Again we can see that it is public safety that has grabbed increasingly larger chunks of the city's budget while everything else has been mostly stuck in place.
So who are the main culprits in all of this? Certainly the largest by far would have to be CalPERS. And for whatever the reason, Sierra Madre is now paying a lot more for its very expensive Police Department's retirement plan than anything covered by a similar program from the County of Los Angeles. An important consideration because LA County retirement costs have actually gone down recently, while Sierra Madre's CalPERS payments continue to increase yearly.
When you tune into tonight's City Council meeting and you hear some of the funny figures the city is finessing, please refer to these charts. Measure UUT, which is a 66% increase in your utility taxes, would go almost entirely to pay for radically increased public safety costs. Most of which are being shoveled wholesale to the Police Department.
That is where the money is actually going. Trust me, it has little to do with the Library or anything else.
Set the hostages free.