Below see the FOR and AGAINST arguments for the Sales Tax Concord increase City Council voted to place on the November ballot. Both were submitted to Maryrae Lehman, Concord City Clerk. Rebuttals for and against these primary arguments are due August 13.
The FOR ARGUMENT was signed by Jeff Krieger of the Concord Police Officer Association; Diane Lorenzetti Concord Seniors; Eizo Kobayashi, Concord Redisdent; Virginia Thoimas, president of the Todos Santos Business Association; and Mayor Guy.
The AGAINST ARGUMENT was signed by Keith McMahon, Business Consultant; Bill Gram-Reefer, Concord Resident; Richard Eber, Concord Business Owner; Richarh Colman, Concord Business Owner, and Richar Soderholm, Concord Resident.
ARGUMENT FOR THE SALES TAX*
Protect Concord, protect our money – Vote Yes on X!
The City provides the services and programs that residents and our community want, need, and deserve. The State has taken $33 million from Concord over the past decade to deal with their own billion dollar problems – stealing our money to balance their budget!
Our local police officers, senior services, after-school program, parks, and streets are the victims of these continued Sacramento money grabs. Concord has been forced to make $18 million in cuts to essential City services. Even with these cuts, Concord will need to cut $5 million more without additional revenue. Concord residents simply can’t afford additional cuts to critical services.
We need Measure X! Measure X provides a protected source of local revenue to prevent further severe cuts.
Yes on X – A local finance measure will give Concord local control over local funds for local needs. No funds can be taken by Sacramento. Let’s keep our money in our community for the things that are important to us!
Yes on X to:
Maintain public safety including police officers, neighborhood police patrols, gang prevention, investigation programs, and 911 emergency response times
Support youth and teen crime prevention/gang intervention programs and officers at local high schools
Maintain streets and pothole repair
Maintain parks, playgrounds, and athletic fields
Fund senior services and nutrition programs
Measure X includes strict accountability provisions including independent citizens oversight, a 5 year sunset, mandatory financial audits, and yearly reports to the community to ensure the funds are spent as promised for community priorities. By law, all funds from Measure X must stay in Concord for local services.
Please join Police Officers, Business Owners, Seniors, Parents, and Neighbors—Vote YES on X—to keep our quality community financially stable.
Vote against Concord’s sales tax increase.
The Concord City Council wants to increase its local sales tax by 1/2-cent—a 67% increase!—on all taxable items. In 2009, our sales tax jumped from 8.25% to 9.25%. And just a year later, in the midst of a deep recession, Concord City Council says we must pay even more!
Concord presents a false choice between cutting programs or raising taxes. Revenue from this tax increase will not go to youth or senior services. Instead, revenue will be used to support:
– 154 Concord employees who, in 2009, earned $100,000 or more, plus generous benefits and pensions far beyond the average in the private sector.
– 103 of these are police officers who earn $100,000 or more, can retire at 50, and pay little or nothing toward million-dollar+ pensions.
With furlough days and other compensation, Concord has proven it can reduce some staffing by 18 days (7%) without missing a beat. Yet Concord tells us it must raise our taxes instead. Meanwhile, on June 29, 2010, Council negotiated no layoffs for one union, and a 3% pay raise, for 2011, for those at the highest pay grade!
Concord’s proposed sales-tax increase will kill jobs and hurt business. It burdens Concord’s poor and seniors on fixed income, while encouraging residents to shop elsewhere.
During a recession with real unemployment in California approaching 17.5%, everyone in our community has had to sacrifice. Everyone must pitch in. While some union concessions have been made, Concord still must cut more spending.
In these tough times, we all must live within our means. It is not fair that Concord ask taxpayers to further support unsustainable staffing levels, employee salaries, benefits, and pension costs.
Vote NO on Concord’s Sales Tax increase
* The ballot designation has not been assigned by the County at this writing.