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Four City Elders Counsel Upland To Dispense With Pension Liability

By   /   April 19, 2014  /   Comments Off

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SBSentinel.com-Four Upland residents with extensive financial management and business management experience have called upon the Upland City Council to move ahead with city employee pension reform and workforce reductions.

. All four expressed the view that if the city does not make meaningful, substantial and immediate inroads on the amount of money it is shelling out to cover the cost of employing nonproductive personnel as well as the pensions of workers no longer employed by the city, it will in the next three to four years be forced to declare bankruptcy.

Bob Nelson, a certified public accountant and former chief financial officer for Star Medical who has taught cost and management accounting at Chaffey College, was chosen as a member of the city of Upland’s financial advisory task force last fall. 

At that time he warned of the city’s growing unfunded pension liability and called for various steps to redress the situation, including imposing a hiring freeze on city staff, which he said would prevent the city from incurring any further future pensioners while efforts to rein in pension costs are ongoing.

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The full task force, however, rejected that suggestion.

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This week, on April 14, Nelson came before the city council, using the four minutes allotted to anyone wishing to speak on items of civic import during the public comment portion of the meeting.

. Nelson noted that the council was scheduled, later that evening, to approve a 19.2 percent sewer rate increase after setting in motion last month a 22 percent water rate increase. He noted that the city manager has signaled his intent to set aside a reserve fund equal to 28 percent of the city’s $39.6 million general fund.

. While Nelson said the effort to set aside reserves was laudable, he expressed skepticism that the money to fill that reserve fund could be produced.

. “Where is this cash cow coming from?” he asked. “We have this sewer rate increase, then water rate increases. Next, you will be considering a sales tax increase of one half of one percent. Where does it stop?”

. Nelson warned that any new revenues the city takes in will be immediately eaten up by increased pension costs as more city employees retire.

. “The city’s deficit is driven in large part by its pension obligation,” he told the Sentinel after the meeting. To read more>LINK

 

 

The fire fee is a bad tax, not just because of the unnecessary burden it places on taxpayers, but because it is horribly inefficient to collect. From the beginning, the process of collecting the Fire Prevention Fee has been lengthy and expensive, proving it is a poor method for funding CAL-FIRE’s fire prevention efforts.

Unfortunately, this month the third round of Fire Prevention Fee bills began going out with the new rate of $152.33 (or $117.33 for the 97% who live in a local fire protection district). This set of bills will be for the 2013-14 fiscal year. Approximately 10,000 bills will be sent each day in alphabetical order by county. This marks the first time the BOE has sent two billings in the same fiscal year.

Remember, in order to be eligible for a refund under the lawsuit against the fire fee, property owners must protest every billing by timely filing a new Petition for Redetermination.

You can find a copy of the billing schedule at

- See more at: http://www.flashreport.org/blog/2014/03/21/fire-fee-update-a-bad-tax-gets-worse/#sthash.Ly2iqy53.dpuf

The fire fee is a bad tax, not just because of the unnecessary burden it places on taxpayers, but because it is horribly inefficient to collect. From the beginning, the process of collecting the Fire Prevention Fee has been lengthy and expensive, proving it is a poor method for funding CAL-FIRE’s fire prevention efforts.

Unfortunately, this month the third round of Fire Prevention Fee bills began going out with the new rate of $152.33 (or $117.33 for the 97% who live in a local fire protection district). This set of bills will be for the 2013-14 fiscal year. Approximately 10,000 bills will be sent each day in alphabetical order by county. This marks the first time the BOE has sent two billings in the same fiscal year.

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