Posts Tagged ‘SDCTA’
by Jason Jackson
San Diego’s economic future remains precarious. Kevin Faulconer’s election as Mayor this February forestalled the immediate threat of the city government reverting to the unsustainable fiscal policies that led it to be dubbed “Enron by the Sea,” but he will need allies on the city council to drive economic growth and job creation in the region. While the city’s fiscal situation seems to have stabilized, the region is still losing jobs due to a poor business climate. A number of big name employers have left for greener pastures in recent months, contributing to a net loss of nearly 3,000 civilian jobs in the region since November.
The San Diego County Taxpayers Association (SDCTA) is keeping a close eye on several significant changes to public employee pensions expected to impact state and local governments starting next year.
Several stem from Assembly Bill 340, or “Public Employees’ Pension Reform Act of 2013.” The bill, recently signed by Governor Jerry Brown, impacts new state and local public employees enrolled in CalPERS and the pension benefits they receive. SDCTA prepared a brief summary comparing the changes to current law, as well as to initial pension reforms Governor Brown suggested.
The San Diego County Taxpayers Association (SDCTA) has been considered by public opinion polls to be the leading public policy organization for over sixty years. Dr. Gary Gonsalves, M.D. , the founder of volunteer-led taxpayer advocacy group Stop Taxing Us claims that the SDCTA has an inherent conflict of interest, when analyzing and endorsing school bond issues, because of its member/funders (many of which are construction companies). Gonsalves stood alone, questioning this alleged cronysim but his voice was amplified today by San Diego’s largest media outlet, UT San Diego:
Thanks to the thorough analysis from the San Diego County Taxpayers Association, we see that Proposition AA (which affects property owners in Carlsbad, Encinitas, Cardiff, Olivenhain, Leucadia, Solana Beach, Rancho Santa Fe, Del Mar, and parts of Carmel Valley) would add $25 per $100,000 of assessed valuation to a property tax bill and that Proposition EE ( which affects homeowners in Oceanside, Carlsbad, Encinitas, Cardiff, Olivenhain, Leucadia, Solana Beach, Rancho Santa Fe, Del Mar, and parts of Carmel Valley) would add the same. The San Diego County Taxpayers Association is endorsing this thirty-year loan (which is what a bond is), collateralized by the collection of taxes on real property. That, my friends, is a residential mortgage.
Rostrafarians, isn’t it just like a cool breeze on an unseasonably warm evening when you find out there’s a new wonk at work in San Diego?
In a fittingly timed announcement on Wonk Wednesday, Sean Karafin has been named Economic Policy Analyst for the San Diego County Taxpayers Association (SDCTA). Karafin brings formal education in economics and experience working with numerous municipalities in California conducting economic analysis to his new role with SDCTA. As Economic Policy Analyst, Karafin conducts public policy analysis and contributes to the advocacy efforts of SDCTA. His professional concentration has, and continues to be, providing sound research and analysis to support efficient and effective governance.
Turns out it is not just occasional sewage flowing from the Tijuana River that sullies San Diego’s South Bay. San Diego/Imperial County Labor Council’s “Middle Class Taxpayer’s Association” does a fine job of soiling the South Bay as well.
Proposition R passed in fall 2008, thus allowing the Southwestern Community College to issue $389 million in bonds to construct and repair facilities. The language of the promised the bonds would be issued “at legal rates, with required citizen oversight, annual audits and no money for administrators’ salaries.”
A colleague sent me a link today to an event posted on Facebook by a group calling itself the “Middle Class Taxpayers Association.” I thought I was acquainted with all the tax activists groups in San Diego and this was a new one on me, so I checked it out with interest.
What a joke. If ever a group assembled under a more inaccurate name, I’d be interested to see it. The “Middle Class Taxpayers Association” isn’t a new voice for responsible stewardship of our tax dollars. It’s a front group shilling for the San Diego Labor Council. The Labor Council doesn’t even try to hide its involvement. It seems silly to use this name, but I suppose there are people or news media who might confuse it with a real taxpayers advocacy group.
Plan Aligns with over two-thirds of SDCTA Budget Reform Principles
The San Diego County Taxpayers’ Association released a 27-page report evaluating Councilmember Carl DeMaio’s “Roadmap to Recovery.” The report found DeMaio’s proposal to be substantially in alignment with SDCTA’s 38 Budget Reform Principles.
“We applaud the ideas of managed competition and outsourcing, as well as the details provided for streamlining business operations,” the report wrote.
“I appreciate the hard work done by the Taxpayer’s Association in reviewing the Roadmap to Recovery, and I’m pleased with the results,” said DeMaio. “I welcome SDCTA as an important partner in advancing the Roadmap to Recovery. I look forward to working closely with them and other groups to secure the necessary public support for the reforms in the Roadmap to Recovery.”
Voice reporter Liam Dillon is literally camped out at SD City Hall. From Voice of SD…
City Sets Emergency Financial Meeting; Frye and Mayor to Present Joint Proposal?
The San Diego City Council will meet Friday morning at 10 a.m. to discuss City Councilwoman Donna Frye’s proposed ballot measure linking a sales tax increase to a series of cost-cutting reforms. Read more here
Also: Mayor Jerry Sanders and Frye are about to announce a comprehensive financial reform package, San Diego County Taxpayers Association CEO Lani Lutar has told VOSD reporter Liam Dillon.