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George Neely is kicking can down the road

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Posted: Wednesday, April 10, 2013 6:14 am

This is in response to “Post-Prop. 30 California” by George Neely, April 13. In the column he said the Lodi Unified School District voted to spend more money due to Prop. 30.

Neely comments: “We may have hit the bottom of a funding crisis.” He hopes it will be the last of the cuts. By stating this, we are kicking the can down the road. Where are the facts to back this?

Prop. 30 increased taxes, which increases the number of people and companies leaving California.

California is still in economic stagnation. Why? Companies and people are leaving the state due to high taxes and choking regulations. I drive around Lodi and see many empty store lots. Last year, two businesses closed on Cherokee Lane and their buildings were demolished. Stockton is in bankruptcy. California has the country’s highest rate of unemployment, including San Joaquin County. Young adults are delaying having kids (or having no kids at all) because of diminished employment prospects.

At the last LUSD meeting, the board unanimously restored pay using Prop. 30. For example, a high school principal salary went from $103,987 to $131,177.

The money at some point will run out. Neely is kicking the can down the road, because it’s unsustainable spending that got us in trouble in the first place.

Alex Aliferis


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  • Patrick W Maple posted at 4:27 pm on Sat, Apr 13, 2013.

    Pat Maple Posts: 1805

    The 5 million does not count those who quit looking for a job...it is just those whom the government counts.

  • Patrick W Maple posted at 4:26 pm on Sat, Apr 13, 2013.

    Pat Maple Posts: 1805

    Kim: Great post!

  • Patrick W Maple posted at 4:25 pm on Sat, Apr 13, 2013.

    Pat Maple Posts: 1805

    And where did Jerry just go? China...reminds me of Neville Chamberlain coming back from his meeting with AH! Look!! I have a piece of paper!! Wooo Hooo!! People ARE leaving CA...businesses ARE leaving CA...politicians ARE corrupt in CA...unemployment IS too high (40M at 12.5% is 5 million people)...what once was the "Great State" is now the Late State...late on schools...late on payments...late on reality...late on everything.

  • Doug Chaney posted at 6:28 pm on Thu, Apr 11, 2013.

    advocate Posts: 502

    Ms. Parigoris, you didn't read your voters' information pamphlets very well or you would have known that these funds would only partially fund schools. That's exactly why I voted no on this issue. I would assume you are not a very well informed voter if you don't energetically study both your sample ballot that gives a nice synopsis of each issue and your voters pamphlet which details the issue itself and pros and cons from those who usually sponsor or those who advocate against the issue in layman's terms and not political spin.

  • Kim Parigoris posted at 12:07 pm on Thu, Apr 11, 2013.

    Kim Parigoris Posts: 470

    I did not mean to infer that it was said here in this forum, but I have seen that response many times by anyone who has expressed differing opinions about the straw breaking the taxpayers back here..It isn't just taxes..It is unelected bureaucracies like California Air Resources Board chasing businesses out of this state, and along with those, jobs.

  • Jeff Tillett posted at 11:49 am on Thu, Apr 11, 2013.

    Jeff Tillett Posts: 557

    who said "good riddance"?

  • Kim Parigoris posted at 10:52 am on Thu, Apr 11, 2013.

    Kim Parigoris Posts: 470

    The article cited above has very little data about California..which has a unique situation compared to the states that it mostly speaks about.. Florida, Maryland, New Jersey. California is Number 50 (dead last) in business friendliness, Sales Tax- highest in the nation; gasoline tax- highest in the nation; personal income tax- highest in the nation; Corporate Income Tax- highest in the West...Although California only has 12% of the nations' population we have 33% of its welfare recipients. Poverty level in California is the highest in the nation at 23%. It costs 1628.00 to rent a Uhaul from California to Texas, and only 680.00 to go from Texas to California Why? Because the Uhaul coming back to California usually has to deadhead empty..Folks who have a nice government pension to rely on do not see what the private sector has to deal with between taxes and over regulation...so when all that is left in this state are welfare recipients, government union pensioners, and elitist politicians...who is going to foot the bill? It is a shame what has become of the Golden State.. I personally know 4 taxpaying families that have left this state in the last 6 months and 4 more that have their homes on the market and will be leaving. You say good riddance? Well, when the recipients of public money far outnumber the contributors, you might want that scale tipped a little more evenly....but it will be too late..

  • Kim Parigoris posted at 10:06 am on Thu, Apr 11, 2013.

    Kim Parigoris Posts: 470

    When a majority of California voters approved Proposition 30 last year, they did so under the assumption that the $6.8 billion per year generated by the temporary tax increase would go directly toward staving off cuts to schools.
    However, a recent report from the state's nonpartisan Legislative Analyst's Office found a $70 billion shortfall in state teachers' retirement plans -- and that deficit has the potential to suck up a significant amount of Prop 30 revenue.
    In its own report to the legislature, the California Teachers' Retirement System, or CalSTRS, said it hopes to completely close this funding gap within the next three decades by increasing the government's annual overall contributions into the system by $4.5 billion for the 2014-15 fiscal year. The contribution will gradually increase from that amount.
    Prop 30 hiked both sales and top marginal tax rates for the next seven years in the state. Increasing contributions to CalSTRS sooner rather than later would create an overlap with money coming from Prop 30, but whether closing the gap with Prop 30 funding specifically remains to be seen. As of now, no proposals are on the table. A decision on the issue would ultimately be made by the state Legislature and Gov. Jerry Brown.
    "More than $30 billion over the next seven years will go to the service of a debt that wasn't disclosed before the voters were asked to approve the tax increase," predicted former CalSTRS board member David Crane in a recent Bloomberg editorial. Crane was reportedly ousted from the board about a decade ago for warning that the system's growth forecasts were too rosy and that a large shortfall loomed.
    CalSTRS, which currently has $160 billion on hand, manages the retirement accounts of some 862,000 California educators and administrators, along with their families and other beneficiaries. The second-largest public pension system in the nation, CalSTRS serves 2 percent of all California residents and, because joining into a public pension system makes one ineligible to receive Social Security, is the sole source of retirement income for a large portion of its members.
    In a video detailing the findings of the report, LAO Senior Fiscal and Policy Analyst Ryan Miller called the CalSTRS' unfunded liability "perhaps California's most significant long-term fiscal challenge."
    As of June 2012, the program had an unfunded liability of $70 billion. Unless some significant changes are made, either through a reduction in benefits or an increase in funding, the pension system's resources will be completely depleted by 2044. If that happens, the state of California would be required by law to pay the entirety of the shortfall out of pocket.
    Since the liability presented by CalSTRS' mountain of debt is projected to grow quickly over time, the LAO recommended taking action as soon as possible. "The longer we wait to increase contributions to CalSTRS, the more costly it will be generally to erase the unfunded liability," said Miller. "While waiting will mean more resources available for programmatic spending or taxpayer relief in the near-term, it will also mean significantly fewer resources available for these purposes in the longer-term."

  • Thomas Heuer posted at 11:45 am on Wed, Apr 10, 2013.

    nth degree wise Posts: 1669

    Thank you again Jeff for a reasoned response to the attempted hysteria raising of the letter writer. This is how misinformation gets its start. It only takes a single writer to promote "Tax Flight " out of California to establish itself as an accepted fact for those that wish it to be true to foster a political view. Reality is clearer with facts while ignorance is maitained by distorted reasoning.

  • Jeff Tillett posted at 8:28 am on Wed, Apr 10, 2013.

    Jeff Tillett Posts: 557

    1) "Tax Flight is a Myth"

    2) The change in salary for the HS Principal in question was due to his "promotion" to comprehensive HS principal from the much smaller school he was administering, not because of Prop 30 (or at least very little; they, too, may be seeing a salary increase due to the restoration of furlough days, similar to the teachers' 2.86 %)

    3) As Mr. Neely pointed out, there would not have been significant staffing reductions for next year, even without Prop 30. This is because of the proactive work by LUSD to a) reduce staffing and payroll, and b) build a significant reserve to weather financial storms. This is the opposite of "kicking the can down the road".

    4) California unemployment, like US unemployment as a whole, has been decreasing steadily, albeit slowly. San Joaquin County has seen significant reductions in unemployment (-2.1%) over the last year.




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