Monday, June 20, 2016

City Staff Tax Laugh: Potential Los Angeles County Park Funding Measure 2016

"Staff didn't say they had a problem with a parks tax. They said they just weren't getting enough of it. This is business as usual." - reader comment

The City of Sierra Madre, its voters, and those just curious about the occasionally outre' ways of this little town nestled beneath the mighty foothills of the San Gabriel mountains, would all have to be out of their collective minds to support this tax boondoggle. However, achieving that mental state has not been too much of a problem here lately.

At this evening's meeting of the Community Services Commission the following tax matter will be under consideration. Here is how the matter at hand is cautiously described in an associated staff report (link):

Now just about everyone loves parks, even those who haven't set foot in one in decades. They're kind of like libraries that way. And Los Angles County and the tax happy Board of Supervisors that runs it have always had a burning need to weasel more dough out of the hapless taxpayers who live within the borders of their crumbling and traffic choked kingdom.

That, along with lavishing your tax money on their crooked cronies, is what they do. Trust me, Cook County has nothing on our guys and gals. And most voters seem to accept all of that since they keep electing the same venal County Supervisors to office decade after decade.

But why in the world would anyone expect Sierra Madre's Community Services Commission to support something as financially disadvantageous to this community as the following?

I guess that is what City Staff feels could need some "modifications."

Here is my question. Certainly such an unfair tax hit to Sierra Madre would have some appeal to many of the other cities in Los Angeles County that have parks. And apparently most towns will get back more than what they put in. Unlike Sierra Madre. So why wouldn't they want to approve such a thing without any modifications and stick places like the Foothill Village with their parks and recreation bills?

Does a rejection of the above by the Community Services Commission really mean that such an inequity will then just go away? I doubt that is how this funny money equation is designed to break. Meaning the county will just say that a majority of its cities were down with what is a blatant act of piracy, and then slap this screaming little monkey on the ballot.

I didn't see that being mentioned in the staff report. Maybe they forgot to mention it.

Sierra Madre's other firehouse is up for rent
This from that always intriguing real estate gossip website LA Curbed (link):

Does anyone remember why Sierra Madre Fire Station No. 2 was sold? And who exactly did it?



    A List Of 97 Taxes Americans Pay Every Year

    #1 Air Transportation Taxes (just look at how much you were charged the last time you flew)
    #2 Biodiesel Fuel Taxes
    #3 Building Permit Taxes
    #4 Business Registration Fees
    #5 Capital Gains Taxes
    #6 Cigarette Taxes
    #7 Court Fines (indirect taxes)
    #8 Disposal Fees
    #9 Dog License Taxes
    #10 Drivers License Fees (another form of taxation)
    #11 Employer Health Insurance Mandate Tax
    #12 Employer Medicare Taxes
    #13 Employer Social Security Taxes
    #14 Environmental Fees
    #15 Estate Taxes
    #16 Excise Taxes On Comprehensive Health Insurance Plans
    #17 Federal Corporate Taxes
    #18 Federal Income Taxes
    #19 Federal Unemployment Taxes
    #20 Fishing License Taxes
    #21 Flush Taxes (yes, this actually exists in some areas)
    #22 Food And Beverage License Fees
    #23 Franchise Business Taxes
    #24 Garbage Taxes
    #25 Gasoline Taxes
    #26 Gift Taxes
    #27 Gun Ownership Permits
    #28 Hazardous Material Disposal Fees
    #29 Highway Access Fees
    #30 Hotel Taxes (these are becoming quite large in some areas)
    #31 Hunting License Taxes
    #32 Import Taxes
    #33 Individual Health Insurance Mandate Taxes
    #34 Inheritance Taxes
    #35 Insect Control Hazardous Materials Licenses
    #36 Inspection Fees
    #37 Insurance Premium Taxes
    #38 Interstate User Diesel Fuel Taxes
    #39 Inventory Taxes
    #40 IRA Early Withdrawal Taxes
    #41 IRS Interest Charges (tax on top of tax)
    #42 IRS Penalties (tax on top of tax)
    #43 Library Taxes
    #44 License Plate Fees
    #45 Liquor Taxes
    #46 Local Corporate Taxes
    #47 Local Income Taxes
    #48 Local School Taxes
    #49 Local Unemployment Taxes
    #50 Luxury Taxes
    #51 Marriage License Taxes
    #52 Medicare Taxes
    #53 Medicare Tax Surcharge On High Earning Americans Under Obamacare
    #54 Obamcare Individual Mandate Excise Tax (if you don’t buy “qualifying” health insurance under Obamacareyou will have to pay an additional tax)
    #55 Obamacare Surtax On Investment Income (a new 3.8% surtax on investment income)
    #56 Parking Meters
    #57 Passport Fees
    #58 Professional Licenses And Fees (another form of taxation)
    #59 Property Taxes
    #60 Real Estate Taxes
    #61 Recreational Vehicle Taxes
    #62 Registration Fees For New Businesses
    #63 Toll Booth Taxes
    #64 Sales Taxes
    #65 Self-Employment Taxes
    #66 Sewer & Water Taxes
    #67 School Taxes
    #68 Septic Permit Taxes
    #69 Service Charge Taxes
    #70 Social Security Taxes
    #71 Special Assessments For Road Repairs Or Construction
    #72 Sports Stadium Taxes
    #73 State Corporate Taxes
    #74 State Income Taxes
    #75 State Park Entrance Fees
    #76 State Unemployment Taxes (SUTA)
    #77 Tanning Taxes (a new Obamacare tax on tanning services)
    #78 Telephone 911 Service Taxes
    #79 Telephone Federal Excise Taxes
    #80 Telephone Federal Universal Service Fee Taxes
    #81 Telephone Minimum Usage Surcharge Taxes
    #82 Telephone State And Local Taxes
    #83 Telephone Universal Access Taxes
    #84 The Alternative Minimum Tax
    #85 Tire Recycling Fees
    #86 Tire Taxes
    #87 Tolls (another form of taxation)
    #88 Traffic Fines (indirect taxation)
    #89 Use Taxes (Out of state purchases, etc.)
    #90 Utility Taxes
    #91 Vehicle Registration Taxes
    #92 Waste Management Taxes
    #93 Water Rights Fees
    #94 Watercraft Registration & Licensing Fees
    #95 Well Permit Fees
    #96 Workers Compensation Taxes
    #97 Zoning Permit Fee

  2. Gotta love this redistribution of monies. If Sierra Madre wants to spend $270K per year on our parks in Sierra Madre, why then, that's just fine. We'd have some pretty amazing parks. But to force us to pay for other parks is theft. You know, Lacy Park in San Marino is open only to residents. Maybe we can consider that here.

    1. Sierra Madre hosts lots of non residents, especially at the Senior Center.

    2. We need to build a wall and get pasadena to pay for it.

  3. No more TAXES.

  4. The old adage "there is no free lunch" kicks in on comparing Lacy park in San Marino to our local parks here in Sierra Madre. Our town took County money to build the the Yac building at Sierra Vista Park, which means our parks are open to anybody in the county. We could not make them just for Sierra Madre residents.

  5. Please go to the Community Services Commission meeting tonight to express your displeasure - 6:30 at City Hall.

  6. As I recall, the fire station was sold to "pay for the paramedics" and because modern trucks didn't fit inside. Of course, the money disappeared into the General Fund, and, all too soon, City Council came back with the UUT increase, the increase that would have sunsetted back down this year, if only the voters had paid more attention . . . .

    1. Measure UUT saved everything. No, really!

  7. City decided fire station was surplus and needed a quick infusion of cash to fund the paramedics. Sold for $550,000.00 to a couple of brothers who were to use it as their art studio. They immediately rented it out. It has had three renters over the years. The $$ went to paying for approximately three years of paramedic services. Now your UUT is being used for that. The canyon fire house had been used for equipment storage and never was active.

  8. I wonder how much Firehouse #2 would go for today. $2 million?

  9. Since the county is going to ignore any modifications Sierra Madre might make and take anything short of a complete unequivocal rejection as acceptance, there is no way this should be approved tonight. Just say no.

    1. City staff is big on creating the illusion of resident control without allowing any of that to actually happen.

    2. If Council had any cajones they would move to recommend residents vote NO on the issue. And Measure J, as well. But they won't.

    3. They'd miss all those little pats on the head.

  10. Does anyone know what we are presently being taxed for on PARKS AND RECREATION. In other words we are adding on .03 per sq. ft. on top of ?? that we are already paying?

  11. City Hall does no know how to say no to any new taxes.

    1. They're scared they might offend Antonovich.

    2. Remember the Tattle Rules of Politics:
      Rule #1: It's always about the money.

      Rule #2: If you don't think it's about the money, read Rule #1.

    3. Antonovich is getting termed out. That's not the reason.

    4. Antman is probably going to be elected to the State Senate where he will continue to advocate for the 710 tunnel and quarter million dollar govt employee compensations. One of the worst of a very bad bunch.

  12. Look at it this way. Staff didn't say they had a problem with a parks tax. They just said they weren 't getting enough of it. This is business as usual.

  13. This is just the warm up to the Parcel Tax push

    1. Wait, wasn't Measure UUT supposed to take care of everything?

    2. Which will be all about helping the homeless, you heartless tax payer.

  14. as long as the public sector's biggest debt drain and long term ill advised management strategy of using a CalPER's or similar ponzi type pension plan that promises a full salary for life after early retirement and paid for by taxpayers with new taxes or fees....NO I'll vote NO on anything and everything as a tax, regardless.

  15. $ 3 k a month for the old firehouse? lol

    1. It's small and weird, but very chic.

  16. Pretty big fires burning up behind Duarte and Azusa right now.

    1. LA Times

    2. Hell on Earth.

    3. The longest day of the year, the hottest day of the year, and the national forest is on fire.

    4. Tonight's strawberry moon solstice: last seen during 1967's summer of love

  17. Thanks Crawford for calling attention to the Potential LA County Park Funding Measure being discussed tonight with recommendations of modification to be passed on to the City Council. This is a much bigger issue and can't be discussed intelligently with only a 4 day notice, much less be able to make an informed decision. This proposed measure, while it is very worthwhile to have funding for parks and facilities, misses the mark on many levels. What worries me is the polling of 1,010 likely voters shows that 69% would definitely, probably or lean toward voting yes in favor of a ballot measure, and that number would increase with "education". That education emphasized clean water, keep open spaces, keep our kids safe, and water conservation. Who doesn't want our kids safe and have clean water? That funding is lopsided and not beneficial to the foothill communities is only the main objection.

    1. Pat - any idea of when this would go before the City Council? Would it be next Tuesday's meeting?

    2. Yes. According to the City Mangler's Report the "Park Bond" is the last item on the June 28 City Council agenda. They are rushing this through and in the process enabling a county tax ripoff of Sierra Madre residents.

    3. M's. Alcorn, didn't you just love the UUT to support all those needed things in the city? This tax is just a tax to be paid by for those the government feels can afford more for those who supposedly can afford nothing. We don't need this new tax simply because people like you supported the UUT which will give us everything! Don't you also support a parcel tax. I'm so glad you're lookin out for me!

    4. City government in Sierra Madre exists solely to fund its own benefits and retirement accounts. There is absolutely nothing it does that could not be done better and cheaper through outsourcing. The average taxpayer in Sierra Madre is a clueless fool.

  18. It's obvious city hall doesn't care what it cost the residents. Only thing local government is looking at is how much city hall gets there hands on. This has been proof over the years by paying millions to borrow a few million. Not what it will cost but how much city hall gets. Also, push the long time residents out and get new residents that pay more money. When is this going to stop, it could stop with this council but they wont stop it, they will push it. Very sad.