City of Palo Alto – Secret Funding Plan Look for a variation of this in your mailbox next year, and every year after 2016. The City has made hefty promises of pensions and healthcare benefits to employees that cannot possibly be paid in a stagnant economy that has stripmined the middle class and small business.
The only “fixes” that don’t alienate city unions, cops and firemen or tax-burdened residents are dramatic increases in junk fees, i.e. “fees for use,” and borrowing money by selling bonds. Here’s an example of the City’s future ‘funding letter.’ Dear Resident: As you may have read, the costs of fulfilling our pension and healthcare promises to our retired and current employees have soared. And we’d like to pay ourselves even more in the years ahead.
As a result, pensions, healthcare and the annual interest due on city bonds (money we borrowed in the past) now consume almost all tax revenues. Without additional funding, we will have to lay off all current employees and close City Hall, the libraries, the fire and police departments, parks and recreation, all city departments and definitely all of the schools. To avoid this, we are asking you to approve increases in ‘fees for use’ of various items and the sale of new bonds to raise desperately needed funding. Here are the proposed fees for use:
1. A 50% annual increase in city garbage collection fees for the next decade, after which we anticipate an annual increase of 20% each year until 2096.
2. Building permits for any project under $5,000 will cost a minimum of $5,000. Fees for larger projects will start at $10,000 and rise on a sliding scale based on the value of the project.
3. Homeowners and contractors caught attempting to evade the building permit process will be fined a minimum of $5,000 or 200% of the estimated cost of their project, whichever is higher.
4. All street parking in the city will require an annual parking permit of $1,200 per vehicle per year.
5. Day use of all city parks will now cost $10 per person per day. Reserving BBQ grills and tables will cost $100.
6. Internet and wifi service in the city will be taxed $1,000 annually per household.
7. Residents will be taxed $100 each annually, payable on the first of January, for consuming the city’s air.
8. Parking violations will be increased from $35 per violation to $500 per violation.
9. Asking city staff for information about city regulations will cost $10, payable before the question is asked.
10. All residents will pay a sidewalk usage fee of $100 annually.
11. A hotel tax of 100% of the cost the room will be imposed from January 1, 2016, including private AirBnB rentals of rooms and apartments.
12. Every home-based business must obtain a ‘city business license’ annually for a sliding-scale fee that starts at $1,000. Anyone caught evading this tax will be jailed as a financial terrorist for depriving city employees of their livelihoods.
13. Global Warming Impact Fee $ 1,500 per household. Residents who cannot afford the new fees can deed their homes to the city, and pay rent to live in the home they once owned. Unfortunately, the new fees for use will only pay a fraction of the salaries of our employees, managers, assistant managers and assistant to assistant managers and so we also need your approval of new bonds:
BOND A: $30 million to keep the libraries open for two years.
BOND B: $30 million to keep City Hall open for two years.
BOND C: $30 million to make City Hall pretty
BOND D: $30 million to fill potholes in city streets for two years.
BOND E: $30 million to keep the city parks open for two years.
BOND F: $30 million to keep the city Public Affairs department funded for two years, so they can continue explaining why the city is broke and why it’s such a great place to live.
BOND G: $30 million to hire retired employees pulling down $9,000 a month in pensions and benefits for $100,000 per year as “consultants.”
BOND H: $30 million to fund a public-relations campaign for two years extolling the city’s “green initiatives” and selling the city’s potential to global corporations.
BOND I: $30 million to fund tax breaks for global corporations that open an office in the city.
BOND J: $30 million to fund Lawsuits against corporations that may cause global warming or increase traffic.
BOND K:$ 30 million for studies on how to raise more revenues from new fees for use.
BOND L: $30 million to fund more appeals like this for increased ‘fees for use’ and the issuance of more bonds to fund everyday city functions that city employees don’t feel like doing.
BOND M: $30 million to purchase a surplus M1 Abrams tank for crowd control and to root out financial terrorists depriving the city of the revenue it deserves. With your support, the city managers expect revenues may cover expenses by 2096, assuming the city’s functions have been fully automated and there are only 12 employees left. City Business Hours for 2016: 11am-Noon, Closed Every Afternoon for lunch.