Letter: From defined benefits to defined contributions

I was glad to hear Chico Internal Affairs Committee directed staff to stop pursuing the rental tax on the Dec. 6 agenda. But a staffer told me, “The recommendations will likely come back to council in January.”

Staff has repeatedly recommended a “gross receipts” tax on both businesses and all rentals within the city limits, as well as an annual registry fee. According to the staff report, “The City could consider removing the unit exemption entirely, requiring even renters of single family homes to pay the tax. Furthermore, the definition could be changed to residential and non-residential property, picking up any property rental within the City.”

Staff’s only concern is to “raise additional local funds.” They are desperate for revenues to cover their pension deficit, created by unrealistic employee contributions. Council has already approved a general sales tax increase for the 2022 ballot. A general tax measure has no restrictions on spending. The mayor has suggested sales tax revenues would be used to secure bonds. The city has already attempted to secure a Pension Obligation Bond without the approval of the voters.

They’re determined to ignore the obvious solution – instead of raising the price of everything all over town, Staff needs to pay more realistic shares toward their generous pensions, or accept smaller pensions. Council instead grants salaries over $100,000/year and 70-90% pensions, with employee shares only 9 – 15%, the taxpayers on the hook for increasing payments. Let’s change the structure of our payroll from Defined Benefits to Defined Contributions.

— Juanita Sumner, Chico

© 2022 KFMF-FM. Internet Development by Frankly Media.