July 22, 2005

Commentary:

Raising the Sales Tax 1% for the poorest incorporated city in San Diego County, Why?

by Herman Baca, President
Committee on Chicano Rights (CCR)


Mayor Inzunza, and “rubberstamp” city councilpersons Parra, Morrison, Zarate and Natividad have voted unanimously (7-20-05) to place an initiative to raise the city sales tax by 1% for the November election.

The real reason for asking for a sales tax increase is not to pay for more city personnel that will benefit city residents as NC politicians attest, but so NC politician’s can continue with plans to “eminent domain” the city for the benefit of outside builders and developers.

That Mayor Inzunza and his “rubberstamp” councilpersons voted unanimously to raise taxes (again), for the poorest incorporated city in SD County and its residents raises the following political questions (below) that NC voter should demand answers before deciding to vote for, or against the initiative.

• NC voters have spoken - in the 2004 election, voters voted NO for a new tax increase by defeating the city’s 12.3 million dollar “public safety” police Proposition “S. This was done despite the fact that there was no organized public opposition and NC politicians and their cronies spent (or pocketed) $40,000.

• 50% of the city’s total budget - the NCPD currently receives 50% of the city’s budget and for decades NC has had one of the highest crime rates in SD County. With most of the proposed tax increases going to the NCPD and the city having the highest crime rate, additional funding is ludicrous and a classic case of throwing good money after bad money. The 50% city expenditure to the NCPD, which has done nothing to decrease crime, has unfortunately been done at the expense of much needed social programs (youth, seniors, housing, employment, etc.) that could possibly bring the city’s crime rate down. Other reasons contrary to the city’s politicians spin (who receive campaign contributions from police and firemen‘s unions) for NC high crime rate are not due to lack of money but lack of community support, accountability, fear, and the NCPD’s historical track record of brutalizing the community.

• Not in NC economic interest - The 1% proposed sales tax increase will have a disastrous effect on NC businesses, especially small businesses. Tax revenues instead of increasing as city bureaucrats allege will decrease because shoppers will simply take their business outside of NC to other community’s with a lower sales tax.

• 1% sales tax increase is unnecessary – the city of NC presently takes in 1.7 million of property taxes while the quasi-government eminent domain power grabbing Community Development Commission (CDC) takes in at least 8 million dollars. NC should dissolve the voter unaccountable commission and utilize the $8 million of property taxes that the CDC presently collects. Taking back the CDC property tax would eliminate the need for any proposed sales tax.

• NC is a poor city – as the poorest incorporated city in SD County with 2/3 of residents living in official poverty residents cannot afford another tax increase. Since 2002 NC residents have seen their taxes increased by the current Mayor and City Council as followed,

1. Increasing their (mayor and council) personal salaries by 18%,

2. Increased trash fees

3. Doubling residential sewer fees from $16.00 to 32.00 a month,

4. Increasing city user fees, on top of increasing property taxes due to school (Sweetwater, Southwestern) and NC library bonds.

Voters while contemplating the imitative should keep in mind what happen to the $40,000.00 raised for Proposition “S” by NC politicians, Mayor Murphy’s resignation because of the Charger ticket debacle, pension scandal, Congressman Duke Cunningham bribery, and the guilty verdicts of SD City Councilpersons Ralph Inzunza, and Michael Zucchet. As SD Councilman Zucchet Attorney Jerry Coughlan aptly stated, “They (politicians) are in a system where they have to get money and they have to do it pretty crudely at times. That’s the way the system works.”  

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