October 10, 2008

Commentary:

Repeal Proposition “$M” - Vote Yes National City’s 8- ¾% Sales Tax

By Herman Baca
Committee on Chicano Rights

National City (NC) the poorest city in SD County, 3rd in California and 9th in the U.S., has the highest sales tax 8- ¾% in SD County and one of the highest in California. For the third time NC voters will vote in November to either repeal, or retain (PROP $M) the 80-90 million 10 year so-called “penny” sales tax.

In 2005 NC voters defeated (Prop B by 57%) after proponents spent over $50,000. In 2006 the present 8- 3/4% sales tax (Prop D) was approved after NC politicians used political “scare tactics.”

As in 2005-06 we are again urging voters to repeal the regressive and anti-poor people 8- 3/4% sales tax by voting YES ON PROP $M, based on the following reasons:

1. NC poor residents cannot afford the 8-3/4% sales tax. NC families, 19% live below the official poverty line (SD County 8.9%), have the highest unemployment rate 12% (SD County 6.9%), and the economic melt down bailout has resulted in higher food prices, housing foreclosures, gasoline prices, trillion-dollar bail out, etc.

2. NC politicians, Mayor Ron Morrison, and the City Councilpersons (Louie Natividad, Rosalie Zarate, Frank Parra, and Fideles Ungab), like drunk-en sailors, have used Prop D sales tax monies as a slush fund to reward political supporters – most whom do not reside in NC, i.e. - police, firemen, city employees, builders, developers and others that contributed $$funds for the passage of Prop D.

Prop D was intended to be used supposedly to, “restore basic city services.” However, Mayor Ron Morrison and the City Council have squandered Prop D money on expenditures that have nothing to do with “basic city services” as documented (partial list) below:

  · $20,000 bonuses (2007) to NC’s highest paid city administrators; $22,000.00 and a $9000.00 car allowance to NC (do nothing) City Attorney George Eiser?

· $145,00.00 (again in 2008) to the city’s highest paid executives and managers as a “one-time” retention incentive bonus of 5% to 6%?

· Salary increases to police officers firemen, city, and confidential” employees?

· $50,000.00 to the bogus Police Review Board?

· $70,000.00 bronze stature for the Fire Department station?

· $25,000.00 (excluding consultants, etc) for a bogus Charger survey questionnaire?

· 2.5 million dollars loan to an Australian developer to build condos?

The passage of the 8- 3/4% sales tax Prop D came after the landslide (58% opposing) defeat of Prop B. when disgraced ex - Mayor Nick Inzunza, and proponents launched a “scare tactic” campaign.

Mayor Inzunza and the City Council (especially Ron Morri-son) threatened residents of massive cuts of City services, library, and swimming pool shutting down, and “public safety,” (police and fire protection) threaten if voters did not approve the 8- 3/4% tax. Note - NC still ranks #1 in SD County for per capita rate of violent crimes!

With only 1 out of 4 registered NC voters casting ballots, and NC politicians bankrolled by outside interests i.e.- Sycuan Casino ($5,000.00), car importers Pasha Group ($5,000.00), JC Towing ($2,500.00), Sacramento CA SEIU Union ($5,000. 00), the NC Chamber of Commerce, and “carpet bagger” NCPD, fireman, and City employee unions raised over $43,000.00 ($18.00 a vote), and bought the Proposition “D” election - by only 637 votes.

We are certain that NC politicians as they did in 2006 will resort to “scare tactics,” and again use the public safety issue, - i.e. gangs will take over, murders will increase, houses will burn, to frighten residents to vote against Prop “$M.” However, the cold hard facts are that the city’s deficit was caused by:

1. NC politicians granting city employees a golden parachute pension fund that pays among the highest employee pension in California. NC police, firemen (the vast majority who do not reside in NC) receive 90% of their pay after 30 years – while contributing ZERO into the fund! Annual retirement costs in 2006 were $6 million, up from $1 million five years ago (a 500% increase). Since NC’s $6 million deficit was the result of the market downturn the question is; how will the current economic melt down/bail out affect NC pension contributions? NC’s politicians, who voted themselves the same sweetheart 90% pension as their employees, would rather disregard the public safety of residents than address the City’s pension fund crisis!

2. NC’s Community Development Commission (CDC) – 75% of NC is under the City’s redevelopment area. As long as the CDC continues to take property taxes from the General Fund, the deficits will remain!

In the upcoming November election NC voters will:

· Vote to either repeal the pro-business, anti poor people $80-$90 million sales tax, or retain it so NC bankrupt politicians can continue to pay the out of control pension fund, cater to out of town business interests, and ignore resident’s concerns.

A YES vote to repeal Prop $M on November 3 will end the same old economic/political policies that have made NC the poorest city in SD County!

“DON’T BE FOOLED AGAIN - VOTE YES ON PROP. “$M.”

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