The above comes from what appears to be a recently established Facebook page titled "Sierra Madre Firefighters and Paramedics Association," which apparently means Sierra Madre's once upon a time volunteer fire department is now unionized and gearing up for what should be an exciting tax season for all.
Nothing like the over 70% support for raising utility taxes that we saw at the polls in 2016 to set the hounds to baying. The gold rush is on, baby. Link here.
Of course, there are some unfortunate facts that might get in the way. At least for a few. When you include all of the many services now being taxed, and with the possible exception of Culver City, doughty Sierra Madre now has the very highest Utility User Tax (UUT) in all of California. Yes, that's right. Sierra Madre is now #2. And here you thought the place was second to none.
According to the always useful MuniServices site (link), this is what Sierra Madreans are currently paying in utility taxes.
Arcadia's UUT is not only lower, but fewer categories are taxed as well.
Even tax heavy Pasadena is a veritable UUT haven when compared to Sierra Madre.
If you really do want to bring the pay and benefits of the Firefighters and Paramedics here up to par with what Sierra Madre's Replacement Police Department is taking home these days, you could vote yourself a 15% UUT. There is no law anywhere that would stop you from doing that. Yes, you really could make the place #1 again.
Of course, there is no guarantee even that would be enough. Measure UUT was supposed to take care of everything from the Library to water infrastructure to questions regarding the existence of the aluminum permanent holiday tree. Remember all of the promises made on those many postcards mailed in support of a 10% utility tax? Now the city is selling the property out from under the Library, and those water pipes? They are definitely not getting any younger.
Throw in the Water Bond debt, CalPERS debt, salaries, sidewalk repair, tree trimming, all of that stuff, and you do start getting into some real money. How high can taxes in Sierra Madre get? Do you raise parcel taxes? Is it possible to institute a city income tax? Sales taxes? Sell your children into slavery? Do you raise every fee and rate in existence? Bring the cost of water up to that of gasoline?
In a city of only 11,000 people the options do start to run thin after a while.
Certainly none of that would ever dawn on the giddy tax fans over on the Sierra Madre Firefighters and Paramedics Association Facebook page, however. As you can see below, they're getting out the pots and pans and gearing up for what should be another very exciting tax raising season. It's what they do.
It seems obvious to me that the party is never going to end. Good luck to you!