Posts Tagged ‘sales tax’

Local TAX Hikes: Just VOTE NO in November

August 8, 2018

BURSalesTax

Just months after pleading with Voters to Pass Measure T: “To maintain essential City services/infrastructure like police, fire, parks, libraries…”, Burbank wants to increase our Sales Tax by a massive 0.75¢ to 10.25¢, to essentially do the exact same thing.

An honest Ballot statement would read: “To pay for our Unfunded Pensions because previous Council’s took a Pension Holiday (now Illegal) and did not contribute what they should have for 6 consecutive years; and our highly paid City Staff Salaries + generous Benefits; future Infrastructure Maintenance needs because we don’t make Developers Pay their Fair Share in Fees; shall Burbank Taxpayers Bailout the City (again), even though we just passed Measure T, by raising our Sales Tax 0.75¢ Forever (no Sunset), giving Burbank the dubious honor of having the Co-Highest Sales Tax in the USA”?

The City has basically cut-&-paste their Ballot language from Measure T and will no doubt engage in a similar “fear-based” campaign threatening Service Cuts if this massive Sales Tax Hike doesn’t pass. What about Pay Cuts? What about Living Within Your Means like the rest of us? What about getting back to focusing on providing the best Municipal & Public Safety Services instead of wasting time on non-essentials like banning Columbus Day!

NoMoreTaxes2018b

There’s so much the City can/should do before raising TAXES. 1. City Mgr Ron Davis mentioned $2M in potential savings during Budget discussions via Workers Comp changes & Outsourcing certain new positions where it makes sense (IT?). 2. Raise Development Impact Fees to match Glendale/Pasadena to pay for future infrastructure needs (they charge $18k/unit vs $2k). 3. Re-Negotiate Public Service Employee Union contracts requiring all workers contribute 50/50 towards PERS, not just new employees. 4. Remove Per Employee Biz Tax Caps that give large Employers tax breaks on the minuscule $10/employee they’re suppose to pay vs Gross Receipts other Cities charge. 5. Pay Cuts for Exec Staff – 10%, 100k+ Employees – 5%. 6. Close the 1 Wall Remodeling loophole costing us Tax revenue 7. Re-Think or Pvte./Public Partnerships or Divest of Assets that are draining City resources like Starlight Bowl, Golf Course, Colony Theatre 8. Get Back-to-Basics & focus on providing Municipal Services & Public Safety not Wish-List Pet-Projects until revenue increases. Then, after you’ve Cut Costs & Re-Focussed on Essential City Services, come back to the Voters for a temp 0.25¢ Sales Tax increase with a 3-5 year sunset clause (ala Prop 30) IF NEEDED, & I’m sure the good people of Burbank would be willing to help out.

This $20M Measure is 2x what the City actually needs to balance future Budget deficits, creating an $11M annual Cash Pot. It’s also Bad For Business, esp. those selling higher-ticket items. It takes a just a few minutes more to drive to L.A. for Appliances, Cameras, Computers/Electronics, Cars etc. Local Business are being hit with a double-whammy with the proposed 10¢/sqft BUSD Parcel TAX, meaning additional Taxes or pass-through Rent increases on top of what some have already endured in Magnolia Park. Big Corporations like Ikea & Walmart can afford to absorb the costs, but small Mom-&-Pop stores are going to be hit esp. hard if these new Taxes pass & some will probably go out-of-business.

Before Voting for Measure P, please consider doing the following:

1. Watch this Video explaining Why We’re in this Financial Mess. * (Start @ 5:38min. Apologies 4 “Jack Sprats” annotated comments – just listen to the City Manager’s honest reply to Council)

2. Review the Salaries + Benefits our City Employees’ are being paid.

http://publicpay.ca.gov/Reports/Cities/City.aspx?entityid=170&fiscalyear=2016&rpt=1

3. Compare our Salary + Benefits Costs that account for 80% of the Budget with Glendale (approx $985 vs. $1176 per employee per resident or 20% more).

http://publicpay.ca.gov/Reports/Cities/City.aspx?entityid=186&fiscalyear=2016&rpt=1

4. Read this: Property tax surge reveals the truth: Local tax hikes are all about pensions

https://www.sacbee.com/opinion/op-ed/article220100755.html

I love Burbank and want to see our City prosper, but this Taxpayer Bailout only encourages More Spending & Waste. I urge my fellow Burbank residents to Vote NO in November and send our elected Leaders a loud message: Trim The Fat, Cut Spending & Live Within Your Means!

#ILuvBurbank BurbankMeasureP.com & BurbankMeasureQS.com Web Page links. Please READ Before VOTING & SHARE on your Social Media pages. 👍

Advertisements

New Mega IKEA Approved – Summer 2016

March 12, 2014

Ikea-1

The Burbank City Council has approved a new mega IKEA store with a unanimous 5-0 Vote following a marathon public hearing last night that went to 1AM. The new store to be located on the old Menasco Manufacturing site @ 805 S. San Fernando Blvd. (between Verdugo & Alameda) will be the largest IKEA in the world @ 470,000 sqft, roughly double the size of the current store, with a 12,000 sqft Restaurant and  1726 underground parking spaces. Construction is set to begin later this year with a Summer 2016 target opening. The new site will have 2 primary entrances/exits, one at the intersection of San Fernando & Elmwood (new Traffic signals & crosswalks will be installed there), and the other on Providencia @ First St., which will be expanded to accommodate south-bound traffic.

The development agreement contains over 150 conditions of approval including traffic mitigations @ the busy intersection of Alameda & San Fernando that will be completed prior to the new stores opening (widening, adding an extra east bound left turning lane going north on SF & more). IKEA dropped their unpopular request to share 50% of the additional sales tax revenue the new store generates above-&-beyond current sales with a $1.2M cap, along with the 20 year sales tax diversion agreement and a potential 15k sqft utility substation property sale. The City will have the opportunity to purchase the substation land at a later date should they choose. Kudos to Vice-Mayor Dr. David Gordon who lead the charge on this issue citing last-minute correspondence with the CA Board of Equalization that suggested such an arrangement was illegal (Note: There was a sometimes heated debate about this with CM Mark Scott), and councilman Bob Frutos who was “uncomfortable” with it, and Gary Bric who eventually supported it after a 10 minute post-midnight recess to allow City Mgr. Scott to confirm IKEA’s willingness to strike it (Vote 3-2).

Mayor Emily Gabel-Luddy was unsuccessful in her attempt to procure an additional $40k from IKEA to study improvements on the east side of San Fernando. to address residents concerns, such as the potential widening of pedestrian paths (Vote 1-4), but her colleagues agreed that this matter can be addressed at a later date by the Council. There were a number of minor alterations including going back to the original proposed 108ft tall freeway sign. Staff also confirmed IKEA will be required to comply with the Arts in Public Places ordinance requiring the installation of Art to the value of 1% of the projects major construction costs or a contribution to the Art’s in Public Places Fund, part of which maybe used for School Public Art Programs. It’s my hope Ikea will choose the later option, or at the very least contribute at least 0.5% to the fund for our kids.

Overall, I feel last night was a win/win; IKEA gets the bigger store they need and a fix for the major parking and merchandise pick-up issues that have plagued their current location; the City gets to keep all the extra Sales Tax revenue; and most of the traffic & environmental concerns appear to be properly mitigated so we (hopefully) don’t have a repeat of the 5-Ways disaster . There are some film/production related small businesses currently sub-leasing who had asked for relocation costs that have to find new homes and while IKEA & the City will not be providing any money (they were on a month-to-month lease and apparently did not receive notice from Western Studios who lease the property from Crown Realty), they did offer to assist them in finding suitable locations. Let’s hope they do. Now if IKEA could bring back their Wednesday Summer Movie Nights or perhaps sponsor the Downtown Summer Concert Series, I’ll be really happy.

Links:  IKEA Staff Report | Staff Report Exhibits | My IKEA Public Comments

Burbank Leader story | Dr. David Gordon – CA Board of Equalization email


%d bloggers like this: