September 29, 2006

Commentary:

TRICK OR TREAT?

By: Herman Baca
President, Committee on Chicano Rights

National City residents, it’s coming, and we don’t mean Halloween. On Sunday October 1, 2006 NC residents will begin paying 8 ¾% (from 7 ¾%) sales tax, or 60 to 90 million dollars more over the next 10 years. National City’s (the poorest city in SD County) sales tax will be the highest in SD County and California, only Almeda County has 8 ¾%!

Basic reason for the increase has resulted because of defrocked Mayor Nick Inzunza incompetent and mismanaged administration (the worst in NC’s history), along with the incumbent “go along” City Council comprised of Mayoral candidate Ron Morrison, and City Council candidates Louie Natividad, and Frank Parra who have for the last 4 years blindly followed Inzunza, and provided zero leadership on any issues. Especially the city’s expanded and under-funded city pension fund that was the cause of the crisis deficit..

On October 1, 2006 National City residents (along with other shoppers) will be forced to pay 8 ¾% sales tax to basically pay for city employees pension fund. Especially for police and fireman (most who don’t reside in NC) who pay ZERO into the fund, but who can collect 90% of their pay after 30 years of employment!

Starting on October 1, National City residents and anyone who shops in NC will pay extra taxes on the following everyday items,

* 2 ½ cents plus, on each gallon of gasoline purchased or .50 cents extra on a 20 gallon fill-up,

* Consumable goods such as diapers, paper goods, restaurant food (La Maze, El Juan’s, McDonalds, Roberto’s, etc.) Plaza Bonita, Office Depot, Wall Mart, auto parts, liquor, etc., As an example, .10 cent extra on a $10.00 McDonald purchase, or $50.00 on a $5,000 furniture, appliance purchase at Wal Mart,

* On any vehicle purchased on the Mile of Cars or any dealership in California, or $300.00 extra on a $30,000 vehicle. Note, the 8 ¾% tax will only apply to NC residents!

Since the passage of Proposition “D,” residents and voters have become aware that “scare tactics” were employed by proponents in passing the 8 ¾% sales tax increase, and have begun to raise questions of city candidates why Mayor Inzunza and city council incumbents allowed outside interests such as, Sycuan Casino ($5,000.00), car importers Pasha Group ($5,000.00), JC Towing ($2,500.00), Sacramento CA SEIU Union ($5,000.00), along with NC Chamber of Commerce, “carpet baggers” NCPD, and Fireman Union most who do not live in NC to raise over $43,000.00 to buy Proposition “D” in the June election when only 1 out of 4 voters voted?

With the passage of the Proposition “D” it appears that for NC politicians and administrators it is back to business as usual. As witnessed before the collection of one single penny, (repeal of the tax has already being launched by residents) city politicians have begin acting as if tax monies are already in the city coffers, and have begun spending like they did in the past when they raised their salaries 18%, gave themselves tamale parties, hired high priced consultants, printed slick brochures, TV infomercials etc.

More to the political point is that NC politicians have begun to spend money on the insane proposal to give away NC Bay front property to millionaires (the Charger) without first asking voters. This, when NC has proven it is incapable of cleaning up the Pop Warner rest rooms at El Toyton Park.

As the Chinese proverb states, “Be careful what you wish for, you might just get and not like it,” because the jury is still out on whether the incoming sales tax will resolve the city’s deficit when one considers,

1. Will shoppers from outside of NC shop in the poorest city of SD County with the highest crime rate, with one of the highest sales tax in California?

2. Will residents of NC continue to shop in NC, especially on high price items?

3. Will NC businesses (especially small businesses) be adversely affected?

If the above occurs, it is our political opinion that National City could wind up have the highest sales tax in the county, decreased business and could continue having massive fiscal deficits unless a newly elected leadership addresses the following:

* NC Mayor and City Council renegotiate the pension agreement with city employee unions and demand that employees and politicians who presently pay zero, and can retire at 90% of their salary after 30 years of employment begin to pay at least ½ into their pension fund as most workers in this country presently do,

* NC scales back its redevelopment area, which presently encompasses ¾ of National City and drains millions of dollars annually from the general fund,

* That candidates running in the November elections demand that Mayor Nick Inzunza resigns immediately,

* NC voters vote incumbent council members out of office.

In closing, can National City with the poorest residents in San Diego County with Prop. “D” pay a surcharge of 3 to 4 million dollar to live here? Continue the massive give away to outside builders and developers? Have voter issues such as Prop. L, Prop. “B”, eminent domain ignored? And in conclusion, will NC voters elect new leadership in the upcoming November election or continue with the old inept and incompetent leadership presently at city hall?

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