Thursday, July 24, 2014
FAIRFIELD-SUISUN, CALIFORNIA
99 CENTS

Is sales tax hike really ‘best solution?’

bass column sig 2

By
From page A11 | September 01, 2012 |

Fairfield City Manager Sean Quinn talked recently to the Fairfield-Suisun Rotary Club about events at the city.

It was a very interesting and informative talk. Fairfield, like most cities, has taken some big hits from the downturn in the economy. Property values and related property taxes are way down. The state has taken redevelopment assets and income. Revenue from sales taxes are down.

The city has responded well to the challenges. The number of city employees has fallen from 650 to about 500. About $1.1 million has been shaved from Fire Department overtime. Department heads have assumed the responsibility for other departments when those department heads have departed. A two-tier pension plan has been adopted. New employees will receive a smaller benefit than current employees. At least in some departments..

All in all, a good effort on the part of the city.

I made it a point to tell Quinn so. Unfortunately there is still a significant general fund shortfall. Quinn also mentioned that the two financial conservatives on the council had led a study on possible solutions. The conclusion reached by Councilman John Mraz and Councilwoman Catherine Moy was that a 1 percent increase in sales taxes for the benefit of the city appeared to be the “best solution.” While Quinn did not propose or recommend the sales tax increase, it was clear that it would be an acceptable “solution” to the city’s financial problems.

Unfortunately, the “best solution” is really a non-solution. Government at every level is imposing new taxes and fees on the public because of budgetary shortfalls. The federal government is the worst offender, with 40 percent of every dollar spent, borrowed. New taxes and fees resulting from imposition of the new health care plan are huge. These increases will be on the shoulders of the public.

Threatened refusal to renew the Bush tax cuts will result in the largest tax increase in the history of our nation.

New Environmental Protection Agency regulations result in fees and huge cost increases.

The 15 percent mandate on ethanol will consume more than 40 percent of America’s corn crop, increase the cost of fuel and cause an unavoidable increase in the cost of all foods. That mandate plus a Midwest drought are likely to result in widespread famine.

The federal government has the ability to impose these new costs with the stroke of the president’s pen. And the president has a hot, fast-moving pen, ignored by a gutless Congress.

At the state level, fee increases are the order of the day. Proposed sales and income tax increases through the initiative process are on the ballot. Bullet train bonds are in the wings. A 28 percent increase in tuition expenses at community colleges is a fact. At the county level we see more fee increases and the Bond to Nowhere at Solano Community College. Those bonds, combined with current bond liabilities, will cost county citizens (it is estimated) close to $1 billion over the next 40 years. Locally are proposed increases in utility fees and rates.

That’s where we are. So the “best solution” isn’t a solution.

We do not have bottomless pockets. We are strapped. We can’t afford all these increases. We can’t afford to drive more people and businesses away. We can’t afford government as it is.

This is not intended to be critical of city staff. You are still living with the effects of poor management in the past. These are tough times requiring tough decisions.

Possibilities? Use more volunteers throughout the city. Suisun City uses mainly volunteers in its Fire Department. Reduce management with wider spans of control. Contract out. Renegotiate. Defer. Be creative. Become affordable.

Plan as if the proposed increase will fail. You’ll be ahead of the game if you do.

Murray Bass can be reached at 427-0744 or mbass25@sbcglobal.net.

LEAVE A COMMENT

Discussion | No comments

The Daily Republic does not necessarily condone the comments here, nor does it review every post. Read our full policy

.

Solano News

Artists with trowels transform highway wall

By Barry Eberling | From Page: A1, 4 Comments | Gallery

 
 
Crews to begin Vacaville slurry seal street project

By Susan Winlow | From Page: A3

 
2nd candidate eyes Vacaville mayoral run

By Susan Winlow | From Page: A3 | Gallery

Bertani schedules town hall meet

By Amy Maginnis-Honey | From Page: A3, 4 Comments

 
 
County court employees rally against cuts, furloughs

By Jess Sullivan | From Page: A3, 6 Comments | Gallery

Vacaville police arrest fugitive Dezmon Frazier

By Amy Maginnis-Honey | From Page: A4, 6 Comments

 
 
Sesame Street USO tour visits Travis

By Staff Sgt. Christopher Carranza | From Page: A5 | Gallery

 
Fairfield police log: July 22, 2014

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A10

Fairfield police log: July 21, 2014

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A10

 
Weather for July 24, 2014

By Daily Republic | From Page: B10

Fairfield police log: July 20, 2014

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A10

 
Suisun City police log: July 22, 2014

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A10

Suisun City police log: July 21, 2013

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A10

 
Suisun City police log: July 20, 2014

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A10

.

US / World

Lawsuit tests racial policy at California prisons

By The Associated Press | From Page: A1, 4 Comments

 
Honduran families deported back to a bleak future

By The Associated Press | From Page: A10, 1 Comment

Lockdown lifted at Little Rock Air Force Base

By The Associated Press | From Page: A10

 
US pushes for truce as Gaza battle rages

By The Associated Press | From Page: A10

Casualty numbers raise questions about Gaza war

By The Associated Press | From Page: A10

 
40 bodies from jet solemnly returned to Dutch soil

By The Associated Press | From Page: A10

.

Opinion

Editorial Cartoons for July 24, 2014

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A7

 
Good men lost due to Bergdahl

By Letter to the Editor | From Page: A7, 1 Comment

Is Logue tripping over words?

By Letter to the Editor | From Page: A7

 
Watch out for Bobby Jindal

By Jay Ambrose | From Page: A7

 
Rick Perry’s contradiction

By Ruben Navarrette | From Page: A7, 1 Comment

 
.

Living

Today in History for July 24, 2014

By The Associated Press | From Page: A2

 
Community Calendar: July 24, 2014

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A2

I resent my husband for not defending me to his mother

By Kathy Mitchell and Marcy Sugar | From Page: A9

 
Horoscopes for July 24, 2014

By Holiday Mathis | From Page: A9

.

Entertainment

Filmmaker Michael Moore’s divorce is finalized

By The Associated Press | From Page: A6, 1 Comment

 
CBS says Colbert keeping CBS’ ‘Late Show’ in NYC

By The Associated Press | From Page: A6

CBS event marks civil rights anniversary

By The Associated Press | From Page: A6

 
4-day Comic Con festival kicks off in San Diego

By The Associated Press | From Page: A6

.

Sports

Cespedes hits 2 HRs, A’s hold off Astros 9-7

By The Associated Press | From Page: B1

 
Big innings fuels 16-1 Expos victory in Area 1 opener

By Paul Farmer | From Page: B1 | Gallery

Raiders start to arrive for start of camp

By The Associated Press | From Page: B1

 
Tight end Vernon Davis arrives at 49ers training camp

By The Associated Press | From Page: B1

Pence drives in 3, Giants beat Phillies 3-1

By The Associated Press | From Page: B1 | Gallery

 
Testimony ends in trial over $2B Clippers sale

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

Playful Pole wins Tour stage, as Nibali marches on

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

 
4 Cities to meet with USOC about 2024

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

Mavericks’ Felton pleads guilty in NYC gun case

By The Associated Press | From Page: B4

 
Chiefs, running back Jamaal Charles reach deal

By The Associated Press | From Page: B4

Seattle’s Sidney Rice announces his retirement

By The Associated Press | From Page: B4

 
Broncos owner giving up control due to Alzheimer’s

By The Associated Press | From Page: B4

.

Business

Stopping deadly oil train fires: New rules planned

By The Associated Press | From Page: A1

 
US economy, though sluggish, may now be sturdier

By The Associated Press | From Page: B5

GM issues 6 more safety recalls

By The Associated Press | From Page: A10

 
.

Obituaries

Mary Bell Scrivner Sanders

By Nancy Green | From Page: A4, 1 Comment

 
Arturo Montenegro

By Nancy Green | From Page: A4

Joseph Ross Smith Jr.

By Nancy Green | From Page: A4

 
Shirley T. ‘Mac’ McFadden

By Nancy Green | From Page: A4, 5 Comments

.

Comics

TVGrid

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A5

 
Dilbert

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

Garfield

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

 
Zits

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

Baby Blues

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

 
Sally Forth

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

Rose is Rose

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

 
B.C.

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

Beetle Bailey

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

 
Peanuts

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

Baldo

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

 
Wizard of Id

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

Get Fuzzy

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

 
Blondie

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

For Better or Worse

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

 
Pickles

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

Frank and Ernest

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

 
Bridge

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A9

Cryptoquote

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A9

 
Word Sleuth

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A9

Crossword

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A9

 
Sudoku

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A9