Saturday, February 24, 2018

Seeking to raise new revenues, Union City may declare a 'fiscal emergency'

With an eye toward asking Union City residents to approve a pair of tax-generating ballot measures sometime this year, the Union City Council may declare a fiscal emergency this week.

Union City's budget forecast for the next five years estimates multi-year budget deficits will deplete its reserves by Fiscal Year 2021-22.

To increase revenues, Union City staff proposes placing a cannabis tax on gross receipts on the ballot this year, possibly this June, in addition, to an Enhanced Real Estate Transfer Tax next fall. Combined the measures could create an estimated $4-6 million per year starting in 2019, according to city staff.

Since the state Constitution requires cities to only propose tax measure during their own municipal elections, the declaration of a fiscal emergency would allow Union City to place a cannabis gross receipts tax on the June ballot. Union City mayoral and city council elections occur in November.

Furthermore, in order for Union City to place an Enhanced Real Estate Transfer Tax on the November ballot, voters would also need to agree to make the switch from a general law city to a charter city.

The council discussed declaring a fiscal emergency at its Feb. 13 meeting, but without resolution. Some councilmembers appeared reticent toward the declaration how it would be received by the public. Others offered the council should have handled the city's financial predicament much better over the past few years. Last summer, the Moraga town council contemplated a similar declaration.

Skyrocketing costs associated with public employee pensions and what the city staff report refers to as "unpredictable state takeaways of local revenue" have taken a toll on Union City's treasury, said a staff report.

Based on Union City's budget forecast, it expects a $2.2 million deficit for the current fiscal year and steadily increases to $4.5 million by 2021-22. The city's reserves, pegged at $12.1 million this fiscal year would be in the red by $785,000 in three years.


  1. By MW:

    In regard to government "efficiency," and including in Union City, and therefore the supposed "need" for new taxes and increased revenues, some years ago the majority of the big boys in UC's government repeatedly rolled over for a crooked lawyer who pretended to be interested in maximizing investment returns on the old Pacific States Steel property so as to provide pensions and medical care to the retired steelworkers of the bankrupt Pacific States Steel.

    So that crooked lawyer and a corrupt San Francisco judge he was closely working with came up with a plan so totally outrageous, that therefore I could not imagine even Al Capone or Lucky Luciano, and even at their very sleaziest, would have even dared to propose such a plan. (The judge seized control of the situation, and then appointed that crooked lawyer to "assist" her.)

    The plan was that the houses built on the site would supposedly be sold for 72M dollars, and the crooked lawyer would get to keep 32M, and the remaining money, and assuming there was any left, would go the to the retired steelworkers, but with the crooked lawyer, and regardless of circumstances, getting paid first.

    Of the five members of the UC City Council, one was very strongly opposed to it, one occasionally mildly opposed to it, one sort of in favor of it, and two very strongly for it, and also fanatic backers of that crooked lawyer, and no matter what he pulled. Obviously he was paying a fortune in under the table bribes, and including to that corrupt SF judge.

    And I could give plenty of similar examples of Bay area shenanigans involving lawyers, judges, and government agencies.

    So go ahead and try to tell me that most government agencies in the Bay area are legitimate organizations, and not just lightly disguised organized crime rings.

    The thing that finally destroyed the plan of that crooked lawyer and the corrupt judge who was his co-conspirator was the following. One of the Bay area's major newspapers repeatedly ran articles describing that crooked lawyer's outrageous ripoffs, so therefore the corrupt judge who was his co-conspirator finally figured she had no choice but to stop publicly backing him.

    And at the end the California State Bar did finally disbar that crooked lawyer, and although for years the CSB, FBI, and US Attorney's office had repeatedly "investigated" him and insisted he had not done anything improper, and no matter how much he lied and stole.

    Basically what had happened was that since that corrupt judge was one of the very most powerful in the entire US, and in fact the primary person responsible for Robert Mueller being appointed the US Attorney for the Northern California District, and which is headquartered in SF, and in fact she later had a lot of influence in Mueller eventually being appointed head of the FBI, therefore as long as that crooked lawyer had the strong support of that crooked, but extremely politically powerful, judge, neither the FBI, CSB, or US Attorney's office was going to embarrass her by taking action against that thief, embezzler, and money launderer with a law license.

    However once that corrupt judge withdrew her support of that crooked lawyer, then the CSB decided it was okay to disbar him for his crimes.

  2. Amazing how a City Manager getting a 60,000 pay raise when he was appointed is now causing fiscal problems. People need to look very closely at how much the City Manager and City Council have increased employee salaries and benefits since the last round of tax measures (sales tax and public safety parcel tax). Don't let them get away by blaming it on anything but Management's taking care of itself - they have the highest management salaries in Alameda County.