Tuesday, March 1, 2016

Is "Yes On UUT" Chairman Edward T. Garcia Channeling His Inner Leona Helmsley?

(Mod: Today's report comes from a Concerned Citizen who feels that the people of Sierra Madre have just got to know about this. So he is here to show you the way.)

"Only little people pay taxes."
Hypocrisy or Irony? You Decide.

For those of you who may have been on an El NiƱo-inspired vacay, Edward T. Garcia is the Chairman of the “Yes on Measure UUT” aka the “We want a 66% tax increase” effort here in our somewhat bucolic mountain village of Sierra Madre.

Mr. Garcia resides at 117 E Grandview, a location he discloses at the bottom of the “Yes on UUT” website (link). The total LA County Property Tax bill for his digs at 117 E Grandview for the 2015 tax year was  $2,605.29. This includes those additional assessments for PCC, LA County Paramedics, etc, etc., etc. All of that.



The City of Sierra Madre gets 21% of the base (before assessments). 21% of $2,600 means the City will get less than $550 a year from the owner(s) of this property.

Let’s compare Mr. Garcia’s abode to that of Joe Lunch Bucket (Joe LB for short). Joe bought his home in Sierra Madre in 2014 for $750,000. He bought here so his kids could attend Sierra Madre Elementary & Middle Schools.

Joe LB works two jobs to pay his mortgage and taxes. His 2015 property taxes are 1% before the additional assessments, so he pays $ 7,500 for his 2015 tax bill. The 21% of Joe LB’s taxes that go to the City are approx. $ 1,575 – over $1,000 more than 117 E Highland pays. In ten years, Joe LB will pay over $10,000 more taxes than the owners of 117 E Highland.

Edward T. Garcia, as a resident of 117 E., has a decidedly lower out-of-pocket cost of living thanks to Prop. 13 and the estate of the late Arlie Hahn. No argument there. That was the intent of Prop 13.

You tell 'em Ed!
Unfortunately, it appears that Edward T. Garcia, among other notables, have decided that the City doesn’t have enough revenue to keep up its very own Sierra Madre Police Department with its VERY expensive CalPERS Platinum Pensions.

Sooooo Edward T. Garcia, and other Prop 13 Winners, have decided to give thanks by making Joe Lunch Bucket, and EVERYONE ELSE in town, pay a two-thirds (66%) higher Utility User Tax (UUT) forever.

No more of those pesky UUT sunsets either – a permanent 66% rate increase - just pay, and pay, forever. And ever.

Since he is not paying so much himself, Edward T. Garcia thinks YOU should pay for his Sierra Madre Dreams instead.

Hypocrisy or Irony? You’ll decide on April 12.

sierramadretattler.blogspot.com

70 comments:

  1. VOTE NO
    VOTE NO
    VOTE NO.

    There is NO SUNSET ON THIS....NO SUNSET EVER.

    Please vote no... we can come up with a better idea
    BARRY GOLD write in candidate has a better idea. Please write in Barry and do not vote for other two. It will take away the effectiveness of voting only for Barry.
    This is very important.

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  2. There are a LOT of purple yes on uut signs around town. I fear that they are much more organized than no people.

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    Replies
    1. There is a lot of big union money financing the Yes campaign. It might be difficult to beat this time. Of course, it doesn't hurt that a lot of people don't understand how their utility tax money is being used.

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    2. The unions will always take advantage of an uninformed citizenry. I hope people will wake up to all this before its too late. If they don't see the connection to Elaine driving a Mercedes and why our UUT tax needs to go up, than no one can help them. Its up to the rest of us to tell everyone we know to vote no.

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    3. Patience. One. Step. At. A. Time.

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    4. Union money?

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    5. Lots and lots of it.

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  3. When the slush fund UUT monies run out then the skeleton's will start popping up and investigations will begin and the heads will start to roll.

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  4. Please vote Yes on Measure UUT so you can pay my taxes for me.

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  5. I bet there is even more t learn about Mr. Garcia and his connections to the people who want this UUT tax to pass and who will benefit by it. What's his occupation any way?

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    Replies
    1. He's a Prop 13 homeowner. So I sort of want to ignore the local yokels who have sweetheart deals with taxes because of a state welfare program because that is what Prop 13 is, it's a tax break for residents and those paying 1/7th the property tax of other residents should really sort of butt out of spreading misinformation on the UUT

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  6. Is there an organized group against this from where you can get some No on UUT yard signs?

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  7. Because that's fair.

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  8. I always get a kick out of people who stand on the sidelines and say something like 6:23 about being "organized". Be part of the solution. That means volunteering, and donating. Send the mod an email and he will make sure you get connected with the No group.

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  9. The UUT must be voted down at all costs. The problem we face is one of "concentrated benefit". The people (the unions) who will benefit from the passage of the UUT stand to gain an awful lot. They will get higher salaries, lower retirement ages, and golden parachutes when they retire. Thus, they are highly motivated to reap such a windfall. On the other side, while the UUT is going to raise substantial revenue to pay for all this, the tax is relatively low on each individual household because of the sheer quantity of households involved. This is why the recipient of the largess is always much more motivated than the people who have to pay the cost. There is a huge disparity in benefits and costs and consequently a huge disparity in motivation. That's the challenge we face as opponents to taxes. Granted, the cumulative effect of all these taxes is burdensome, but each individual increase in tax is not that much and that's why its difficult to get people motivated to fight against it. And even when they do, the concentrated number of people who benefit from the tax are always highly motivated and will expend a lot of money because they have so much to gain. Its always an uphill fight for that reason.

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    Replies
    1. Prop 13 homeowners in SM really shouldn't be preaching to us. They should pony up and pay in proportion.

      Prop 13 babies want a full service city at everyone else's expense and sure it's the same percent for everyone but not the same amount is the amount paid.

      They are just yelling the loudest and not paying a fair amount for city services because of a state law.

      I'd be okay with if the HOA, I mean the Council, would assess every Prop 13 property in SM a 66% of value tax to bring them align with new residents.

      Now that'd I'd vote YES for

      UUT - No.

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  10. You guys seem to love write-ins so much, how about a write-in for "maybe" on this one?

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  11. On a hot August night with the air conditioning on to stay comfortable the UUT wants to take 10% on top of that $400 bill. With medical conditions that require not getting grandma too hot Sierra Madre City wants an extra 10% for life from our family. Who in their right mind can think that is fair. Being on a fixed income we have to vote no. With unlimited income I would not vote for such a TAX. Any one for a cup of tea?

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    Replies
    1. Good point. There are many in town who are ill and use a lot more of all the utilities. The UUT will hurt them.

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    2. High Edison rates are a double whammy. The electric bill and then the tax.

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    3. In regards to Zillow has anyone witnesses the number of foreclosures and home auctions taking place in our little hamlet ?
      If your claim is based on making money to support failing infrastructure you're having laugh making us look like a bunch of muppets.
      Is it the patchwork asphalt ? The unkept tree lined streets ?
      How about the leaking water pipes and sink holes that appear ?
      Please spin the lack of money being applied to infrastructure into some homespun B.S.
      How about all of the machinery unfixed in city yard gets recycled into some magical item planted with succulents for everyone to think reuse and recycle ...
      Oh Crap !
      I just tripped on our awesome sidewalk and my knee has a nasty gash ... Thanks Sierra Madre I'll treasure the scar .

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    4. 8:09 I feel for your sick mother unfortunately we have pensions and perks for our hardworking civil servants to take care of maybe your mother needs to be ill elsewhere and she obviously didn't plan for her old age.
      That's the way CALPERS see's your
      problem.

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    5. is anybody remotely surprised that a former Mayor of SM, a utility company lawyer is involved with all of this mess, still participated in this mess, still is muddling up the city with a So Cal Edison agenda?

      as far as Mr Garcia, a local yokel who wants to preach to us and instead pays nothing in taxes but wants a PD, a library, this and that for his insignificant contribution?

      write a check Mr Garcia or quit spreading misinformation, at least we know he's speaking one thing and paying another

      sell your house and let some real taxes help us instead of being a drain on my checkbook

      I'm voting No and sincerely hope the tacky sign campaign of the Yes yokels and the SoCal Edison crew has people research exactly what is going on and that the UUT has absolutely nothing to do with city services, it's about pension debt cause that is the bill that is being paid first and streets need repair

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  12. It is not signs that defeated the UUT the first time, nor was it the signs in the second UUT defeat. It is the people. It was the word of reason.
    The only responsible choice the taxpayers of Sierra Madre can do is to VOTE, and to Vote NO on the UUT.
    We the taxpayers are tired of all the lies and deception. The majority of the people of Sierra Madre are educated. We all have to balance our checkbooks!
    However, there are a lot of the people in town who put their faith into the elected officials and when the circus and pony show is put on at the fire dept, it is hard to see beyond the smoke and mirrors. especially when the mirrors are circus mirrors that distort the facts.

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    Replies
    1. the NO signs should say

      Utility Tax (UUT)
      Voting NO for the 3rd time

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  13. Wonder how the fire department felt about that. Puppets to the CITY MANAGER.

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  14. I'm afraid of circus clowns.

    I'm also afraid of clowns from the city, elected or otherwise, who've decided that's it's easier to raise taxes than to responsibly spend the tax money they already take in from residents' hard earned dollars.

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  15. Our CalPers retired librarian, Tony Buckner has a YES sign. What a surprise!

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    Replies
    1. Keep that CalPERS gravy train running!

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    2. Bet all the city workers and retired city workers have the pretty purple placards planted proudly in their posies.

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    3. Why not? UUT money goes right into their pockets.

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    4. Tony Buckner is just another version of Ed Garcia. She expects us, the citizens of Sierra Madre, to pay for her DREAM RETIREMENT with a higher UUT tax. The only sane response is to vote NO on the UUT tax increase.

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    5. isn't she young enough to get her rear end back to work

      how old is she?

      why are we paying for such a blatantly rip off pension system so able bodied adults can "retire" and we get stuck with the bill?

      can't blame her for milking the system but she's spreading misinformation as a librarian?

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    6. I believe retired librarian Buchner is also getting paid by the City to be the temporary librarian, as well. Ka-ching!

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  16. Dear john,

    this email was sent to our city council women, Denise and Richelle,
    but as you can e-m-a-g-I-n, there has been no reply. I guess they must
    be busy!

    Did You Ever think of cutting expenses, instead of letting the men continue to increases Taxes?

    It’s a fact, city hall needs to cut expenses,
    the unfunded liabilities and Pensions are killing this town!

    Lets start here and get rid of the money drains, being SMPD and library,

    we can keep the fire dept and the paramedics,

    Yearly
    Money Savings

    $ 800,000+ SMPD expense savings
    $ 200,000+ Do we still need a Chief of Police, if the Sheriff is taking over?
    $ 400,000+ Pasadena PD for helicopter patrol & detectives (is this correct ?)
    $ 200,000+ estimated on going Union lawsuits (to become the Sherriffs issues)
    $1,000,000+ library
    $2,500,000+ un spent UUT Tax monies
    $ ? retire the city manager, her assistant, city attorney
    + $ ? hire a combo city attorney acting as city manager & hire an assistant
    ______________

    $5,100,000 That’s an expense savings and cash in the bank now

    Since there has never been any forensic audit,
    I question all accounting as to "accounts by name logged", as being correctly entered,
    Therefor the true expense and savings might even be increased

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    Replies
    1. too logical for this city management, our city manager had to use 700 staff hours to plan the Mt Wilson Trail race

      the bar for thinking is set pretty low in management

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  17. WHAT A BRILLIANT IDEA!!!!!

    I GET IT!

    INSTEAD OF HAVING $5,100,000 IN YEARLY CITY HALL EXPENSES,

    WE NOW HAVE $5,100,000 MILLION DOLLARS EACH YEAR IN CASH!

    WHAT A SIMPLE IDEA!!!!!!!

    THAT MEANS WE DO NOT NEED ANY UUT TAXES AND CITY HALL STILL HAS YEARLY CASH!

    brought to you by THE CAPPS GUY

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    Replies
    1. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

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    2. All Caps is an acquired taste.

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    3. never read All Caps - I'd never want to talk to someone in person who yells a conversation, why in print?

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  18. Thank you Concerned Citizen for your expose of the hypocrisy of the Yes on UUT crowd. They need to start paying their fair share in taxes, too.

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    Replies
    1. Mr Garcia is sort of a laughing stock once this gets out

      Can I put up a sign telling him to pay his fair share on the current market value because if he's paying 2 k a year and someone else is paying 7 k a year, his opinion isn't very valuable to the city

      sure, it only affects him a hundred dollars

      amazing that he isn't shy about spending your money and sort of misleading the people with his double standards

      must be a "me me me" kind of guy

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    2. That is why you get the "latte a day" BS from the Yes on UUT crowd and Prop 13 winners while you and me and JoeLB are paying thousands of dollars more apiece in taxes every year.

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    3. $7,000 in property taxes a year is a lot of lattes.

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  19. You would think with the UUT tax voted down twice that they would think of other ways to get revenue. We have to put the FINAL NAIL into this tax hike and then bury the coffin.

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  20. Measure UUT, in one form or another, has now been on the ballot three times. Any idea how much that has cost?

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    Replies
    1. oh I'm sure it's not free

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    2. Got to pay for all those City-printed "informational brochures" because it's illegal under state law to use tax money to advocate for a tax increase. No, really, they're "informational". Nothing to see here, move along.

      Do you think the latest "informational" brochure will mention that we'd save a LOT OF $$ by using LA Sheriff Department full-time?

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  21. Anyone know the verdict of the city's lawsuit against the Hildreth's? Trial ended yesterday.

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    Replies
    1. Wow! Wonder what happened??? Whatever the verdict was, it was a long time coming.

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    2. Maybe it was one of those "you'll get the verdict in the mail" deals.

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    3. Have to go with the city on this one. No wine bunkers and no ready to drop decks.

      More importantly, welcome back ALL CAPS GUY!

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    4. Trial started yesterday, not over

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  22. Today is a low blow Crawford. Haven't seen such personal attacks from you before (except for Susan Henderson, of course.)

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    Replies
    1. Sorry, but if you are going to head a campaign advocating for tax hikes while being the beneficiary of tax advantages yourself, then you are going to get called out. Welcome to life.

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    2. True, 11:51, Ms. Henderson has always been the Queen of personal attacks.

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    3. Maybe Ed should move into the illegally constructed house at 156 E. Highland ave. built by Mr. Salisian. Its a big 2 story house that pays NO property tax at all. He can run his self-righteous propaganda and con people out of their money from a better location.

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    4. low blow? what you talking about? I sort of think it's low for a property owner that has a sweet deal and pays a pittance in property taxes for city services to be pushing for the UUT if he's such a civic minded Sierra Madrean, he'll write a check for the difference on what he pays versus what'd he pay in property taxes on today's market value

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  23. @10:25 A.M. According to our city manager very few city employees live here because Sierra Madre is out of their meager civil servants salary range .
    If you know something we mere mortals don't know ... Please tell.

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    Replies
    1. Elisa Cox Jenn Peterson,
      Fire Chief, Cimino, ex Chief of Police, retired Paul Hagan
      Toni Buckner, Susan Clifton.

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    2. Peterson doesn't live here...she's next door...if we can keep to the facts, it will go a lot better -

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  24. Pick up a copy of the Arcadia Weekly for the week of Febuary 25 through March 2 the repeal The UUT people are hearing the same B.S. we're hearing from the wisteria colored placard waving big heads here ... When I first saw the pro-UUT signs I thought they were about some kind of "Stop Prostate Cancer. " campaign .
    I'm feeling some irony coming on .

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  25. It's real interesting, most of us do not trust the mayor, now the mayor has a new gig, the mayor has a full front porch of UUT taxation signs on his homes front porch. The mayor has to be more coo coo that ever.

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    Replies
    1. Does the Mayor have a permit for that front porch storage? Probably not.

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    2. "Most of us" ?

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    3. Anyone with a modicum of good sense.

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  26. The rule on political signage: No larger then 6 square feet per sign and no more then 12 square per property.

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  27. Sounds like "Crappy the Wolf" is at it again, Not following the rules

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