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Contra Costa Taxpayers Association

Issue Updates & Perspectives

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  • 22 Apr 2020 1:47 PM | Anonymous

    Our February speaker, Thomas A Rubin, shares his background information on Bay Area Transportation Taxes & Fees.   His eye-opening presentation is exceeded only by his knowledge & experience in the field of transportation.  We hope this handy sheet enhances your understanding of the transit and transportation issues.

    Bay Area Trans Tax 02 28 20.pdf


  • 10 Jan 2020 5:26 PM | Anonymous

    Submitted by Mark Fernwood:

    Few know that a massive apartment blocks may be coming to a neighborhood near you! Unelected bureaucrats in Plan Bay Area, ABAG, MTC and now the CASA Compact, will force thousands of high density housing projects into our communities.  A portion of which will be for low to very low incomes. All this will totally change the character and livability of our communities. 

    The function of local zoning laws is to protect the character and commonality of our communities. Local zoning allows the residents to determine their future.  Maintaining local character protects the value of our homes.  With CASA, we now have Soviet style central planning imposed on us.

    False Claim # 1. Amid cries of “housing crisis” we are told that there is an acute housing shortage.  A quick fact check can be had by searching apartment locating web sites such as Hotpads.com, Apartmentfinder.com, Apartments.com and others.  Each will show hundreds of vacant Bay Area units.  A “crisis” of shortage should show only long waiting lists, not hundreds of vacant, waiting Bay Area apartments.

    False Claim # 2. We are also told that housing is too expensive.  CASA asserts that building still more units will lower costs.  According to the Building Industry Association, the average cost to build a new Bay Area unit is $500,000.  With this hard cost burden, new units cannot lower rents.

    False Claim # 3. CASA’s further assertion, is that if populations are tightly packed, near transit hubs, residents will not need cars.  In fact, no parking will be provided in many complexes. The reality is that most, if not all, will own cars and will have visitors with cars.  This will further burden limited public parking. A stated goal is to reduce the amount traffic on highways.  How will imposing high density on outlying communities, where there are few jobs or mass transit possibly help this?  

    False Claim # 4.  We are also told adding more housing will help solve the “homeless” epidemic.  The “homeless” have no money for any rent. However they can live for free in “shelters.’

    False Claim # 5. We are lead to believe the “housing crisis” is unique to California and the Bay Area. This is actually just part of an international effort to compress populations.  Google “housing crisis, Berlin” or another major, Western city.

    There is also a very strange concept that those that work in a community should be able to afford to live there.  Should those that service the lawns and pools in Beverly Hills actually expect to be able to live there?  There are areas where housing is comparatively inexpensive, other areas that are median priced.  There are also areas that are premium and even ultra-premium priced.

    It should be of great concern how these agencies can dictate such destructive changes in our lives. Decisions imposed by the unelected regional governments, insures no means of redress.   Our communities will be wrecked for “reasons” that are False. Consider: what will they do to us next?

    What you can do is to become involved.  Send this video on to as many others as possible.  Call and write to your community and state leaders. Please donate to CoCoTax to help with the production of videos like this.

    CoCoTax is a nonpartisan organization whose motto is “Good government at an affordable price.” To find out more about us go to: CoCoTax.org.

    Suggested links:

    Housing crisis, CASA Compact, Plan Bay Area, MTC,


  • 07 Oct 2019 1:16 PM | Anonymous

    From the California Policy Center:

    Californians are now paying over $4.00/gallon at the pump. According to GasBuddy, refining issues led gas prices to jump about 25 cents per gallon. However, rest assured, you’re still paying only an average of 79 cents per gallon in taxes when you fill up your vehicle. If this number makes you want to scream, I have more bad news for you - Americans spent more on taxes last year than on food, clothing and health care combined. Click here to read a full analysis of the Bureau of Labor Statistics Consumer Expenditure Survey.

    A new report on the financial condition of the United States ranks California 43rd in the nation for its fiscal health. With the economy cooling off, and talks of a recession in the news, you may be wondering what that means for your wallet. Well, consider not only your own income and spending, but that of your local government. As we have noted in the past, California’s total state and local government debt is over $1.5 trillion. This week CPC fellow Edward Ring makes the case for pension reform by pointing out the unsustainability of current government spending in times of economic downturn. Click here to read his analysis

    One of the reasons many municipalities are on the brink of fiscal insolvency is because government unions are able to spend money and elected local officials, who in turn increase their pay and benefits. One such union is the teachers union in California, which frequently asserts that teachers need higher pay because of a “pay gap.” Yet, as CPC contributor Larry Sand points this is a myth. Click here to read more.

    Many Californians are rightfully concerned about stewarding the environment. Yet, a topic that frequently is not discussed by people is water. Although the Left and Right may argue about social issues and economic issues, the water issue should be one where both sides find common ground. This week CPC contributor Darin DuPont makes the case for why Californians must not remain complacent about this important issue. Click here to read the full article



  • 13 May 2019 11:24 AM | Anonymous


    The Contra Costa County Board of Supervisors has established many boards, committees, and commissions to which it appoints Contra Costa residents to serve, on a volunteer basis, to advise the Board on the myriad of programs and issues under the Board's jurisdiction. Contra Costa residents are encouraged to participate in their County government, and to put their expert knowledge and experience to work in their communities by applying to serve on a Board advisory body.  

    Supervisors appoint individuals to various boards within their district.  Currently there are vacancies for District IV representatives on the following boards: 

    1. Mental Health Commission - Consumer Seat

    2. Library Commission - Alternate District IV Seat

    3. Economic Opportunity Council - District IV Public Sector Seat

    In addition to the District IV vacancies, there are several seats on commissions that are at-large vacancies and open to Contra Costa County Residents. You can search the commissions and vacancies and apply here

    For more information, you may also contact Supervisor Karen Mitchoff's office at (925) 521-7100.

     

    Economic Opportunity Council 

     

    The Economic Opportunity Council (EOC) is an advisory board to the Board of Supervisors and the Community Services Bureau of the Employment & Human Services Department (EHSD) for Contra Costa County for administration of the Community Services Block Grant. 

    The Clerk of the Board is currently accepting applications for the Economic Opportunity Council - District IV Public Sector. The deadline to apply is May 24th. To apply or for more information, click here


  • 07 Mar 2019 3:01 PM | Anonymous

    The state Supreme Court ruled that certain “spiking” contract measures for public workers can be stopped, but side-stepped the more critical issue of the mythical “ California Rule.”

    CoCoTax will continue its campaign to educate the public on the disastrous unfunded public pension and OPEB obligations, which not only threaten basic municipal and school services, but future pension security as well.

    https://www.pacificresearch.org/pacific-research-institute-responds-to-cal-fire-ruling-supreme-court-decision-is-victory-for-taxpayers/?utm_source=Pacific+Research+Institute&utm_campaign=01424e45b1-Policy+Alert+030719&utm_medium=email&utm_term=0_54315d0e14-01424e45b1-223172345


  • 04 Mar 2019 10:35 AM | Anonymous

    Charles Ramsay, key architect of the corrupt West Contra Costa USD’s $1.6 billion school bond program, has been fined $18,000 by the FPPC for violations of reporting rules.

    The forensic audit of a relatively small portion of the program revealed high likelihood of serious waste, fraud and abuse in the program.

    CoCoTax strongly supported the forensic audit, which confirmed the allegations of whistle blower Dennis Clay, who was forced out of the district following his courageous disclosure of a variety of violations of district policy. Unfortunately, the new board of trustees have decided, apparently on the advice of the same counsel who failed to properly oversee the very same contracts that were so poorly mismanaged by the district, to take only token remedial action. They have not followed the forensic auditor’s recommendation to seek recovery of misspent funds, and to seek criminal investigation. 

    This fine is a slap on the wrist, and reflects only the tip of this massive iceberg of corruption.

    Bottom line: all $1.6 billion has been spent, yet half of the district’s schools remain untouched.

    https://www.eastbaytimes.com/2019/02/26/former-east-bay-school-official-fined-over-not-reporting-solicited-donations/

  • 31 Jan 2019 10:58 AM | Anonymous

    Driving Californians Crazy:

    Incompetence and Poor Customer Service Plague the
    California Department of Motor Vehicles

     

    Although the DMV has long been characterized as the embodiment of government ineptitude, a series of recent events have taken the department's incompetency to a new level. Long lines have stretched out through its branch doors, wrapped around buildings, and down sidewalks, reflecting the dramatic increase in wait times suffered by California residents during the past year.

    At the same time, news stories about DMV workers literally sleeping on the job and committing crimes highlight a shocking lack of oversight and accountability. And severe mishandling of voter registrations, disability placards, and IDs underscores a failure of the DMV to perform its assigned tasks. 

    The DMV is in shambles, and its "solution" is to receive more taxpayer money. For these reasons, the California Department of Motor Vehicles—the quintessential poster child for bureaucratic incompetence—has won the Independent Institute's seventh California Golden Fleece® Award, a distinction given quarterly to California state or local agencies or government projects that swindle taxpayers or break the public trust. 

    For complete article click here:  http://www.cocotax.org/resources/Documents/2019_01_26_cagf_winter_2019.pdf


  • 04 Dec 2018 9:58 AM | Anonymous

    The CoCoTax mission is to promote “good government at affordable cost.”

    Encouraging illegal immigration, and subsidizing them with taxpayer dollars is anything but. And now, our outgoing governor commits $30 million to legal assistance for illegals, while many citizens face unmet housing and health care needs - upside down government!

    https://www.washingtonexaminer.com/washington-secrets/census-confirms-63-percent-of-non-citizens-on-welfare-4-6-million-households


  • 04 Nov 2018 7:46 PM | Anonymous

    CoCoTax members currently serve on seven Prop 39 citizens bond oversight committees (CBOC's) in Contra Costa county, including local K-12 school districts and the community college district.  Most districts appear to follow the constraints of Prop 39 and manage bond funds effectively, but there continue to be problems in the West Contra Costa USD with its massive $1.6 billion program, and in other districts with their use of long-term bond funds to catch up on deferred maintenance.

    https://m.eastbayexpress.com/oakland/cashing-in-on-education/Content?oid=22051821&showFullText=true


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