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Contra Costa Taxpayers Association

Issue Updates & Perspectives

  • 20 May 2014 3:04 PM | Anonymous

    Howard Jarvis Taxpayers Association Says Rodeo Hercules Fire District Violates Prop 218

     According to Howard Jarvis Taxpayers Association, Rodeo Hercules Fire Protection District violates Prop 218.

    Howard Jarvis Taxpayers Association authored the 1996 Prop 218(Right to Vote on Taxes Act).

    Prop 218 requires a ballot to be mailed for all assessments and property related fees with the exemption of water, sewer, and garbage rate increases. Street lighting assessments, storm water and urban runoff management assessments, and open space assessment districts are examples where a ballot is required to be mailed to impacted homeowners.

     Ballots are weighted by the size of the property. If approved, the assessment appears on your property tax bill. For water, sewer, and garbage rate increases, a notice is sent out to impacted property owners 30 days before a hearing to approve the increase. Residents protest this increase by showing up or a protest in writing.

     The need for Prop 218 in 1996 grew as municipalities used benefit assessments for general fund purposes. Prior to Prop 218, cities were attempting to pass assessments for police services. Police and fire services are a general benefit that should be paid for via taxes on all residents, not just assessments against homeowners.

    Prop 218 gives taxpayer the right to use the initiative process to reduce or repeal any tax, assessment, fee, or charge. By collecting the signatures of 5% of the number of people in the local district who voted in the last election for governor, one can put any locally imposed levy to a vote.

     In a letter, Howard Jarvis Taxpayers Association says Rodeo Hercules Fire Protection District violates Prop 218. This came on the eve of the Wednesday, May 14th Rodeo Hercules public hearing.

     Contra Costa Times on Benefit Assessment and CoCoTax:


     To read Engineer’s Report that established Prop 218 Benefit Assessment: http://rhfd.org/download_files/RHFD%20ER%2003%2005%202014%20.pdf


  • 01 May 2014 4:30 PM | Anonymous
     As a result of CocoTax’s involvement, the Howard Jarvis Taxpayers Association recently stepped in to question the financing of this massive Delta Tunnels project.

     Businessweek Article on Howard Jarvis Letter that Questions the Financing of Delta Tunnels:
  • 29 Apr 2014 4:31 PM | Anonymous

    The Ventura County Taxpayers Association turned in thousands of petitions to qualify for a a a November 2014 pension reform initiative.

    According to a independent analysis by the Reason Foundation, Ventura County will save $460 million and reduce long term liabilies by $1.8 billion.

    Ventura County has over 900,000 residents while Contra Costa County has 1.09 million residents.



  • 08 Apr 2014 3:35 PM | Anonymous
    CoCoTax has released a video/write up by former Vallejo Councilmember Stephanie Gomes on the March 20th event by the Contra Costa Taxpayers Association by San Jose Mayor Chuck Reed on pension reform. The pension reform initiative has been postponed for 2014. However, it will be pushed for 2016.

    On a special note, the Ventura County Taxpayers Association is circulating a petition for pension reform in Ventura County.

    Mayor Chuck Reed Video at March 20th Contra Costa Taxpayers Association Luncheon:

    Major Points on Chuck Reed's Pension Reform Initiative:

  • 25 Mar 2014 3:33 PM | Anonymous
    Postponement of a California ballot measure that could help contain the rising cost of public employee pensions is a “credit negative” for municipalities, Moody’s Investors Service said.

    To read the article, go to http://bloom.bg/QdfOzf
  • 06 Jun 2013 11:17 AM | Deleted user
    Since it has been 35 years, a lot of people are unaware of the reason behind it. Property tax rates were rising so quickly that people were actually losing their homes. Now all property owners in California can take comfort in the fact that their property tax increases are limited. Think what would be happening now with the public employee issue if all government had to do was raise the taxes to cover any expenses.

    In the words of the great Howard Jarvis “Death and taxes may be inevitable, but being taxed to death is not.”
  • 11 Apr 2013 9:52 AM | Deleted user
    This will take effect starting July 1, 2014.  Yes, that number is still way too high and even the actuary's methodology came up with 7.09% (still too high).  This impact of dropping the rate is that the pension cost increases for both the employer and employee because it assumes the money that is being invested is earning less to help pay the cost of pensions.

    The problem with having a rate that is too high is that any shortage in earning becomes the sole responsibility of the employer. That means reduced service levels.

  • 21 Feb 2013 6:00 AM | Deleted user
    The case study compares the 2007-08 budget with that of 2013-14. What it reveals is that even thought the revenue is $10.8 billion greater in 2013-14, the allocation of the dollars are very different. This is a quick, but informative read with useful charts. 

    The study can be found at:   http://cacs.org/ca/article/62
  • 19 Feb 2013 9:37 AM | Deleted user
    CalPERS' corruption, insider dealing and politicized investments have overwhelmed taxpayers with debt.  This City Journal article thoroughly explores the issues.

    Author Steven Malanga is the senior editor of City Journal and a senior fellow at the Manhattan Institute. His latest book is Shakedown: The Continuing Conspiracy Against the American Taxpayer.
  • 07 Feb 2013 11:38 AM | Deleted user
    The trust fund that provides pensions to retired teachers has a $64 billion deficit and would need a $4.5 billion per year infusion of revenue to become fully solvent, according to a new internal study. The California State Teachers Retirement System produced the report in response to a legislative resolution. Its release came just days after the Legislature's budget analyst, Mac Taylor, indirectly chided Gov. Jerry Brown for ignoring "huge unfunded liabilities associated with the teachers' retirement system and state retiree health benefits" in his new budget. 

    The $4.5 billion is a 75% increase over the present 6 billion.
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