POSITION PAPER: PENSION REFORM AND TAXES by Michael G. Stogner, Candidate for Supervisor
Original post made by Michael G. Stogner on May 8, 2014
be doing better in terms of sexual crimes against our youth, and
I would now like to tackle a big issue: pension reform and taxes.
San Mateo County has a massive unfunded pension liability. My opponent
Don Horsely and I have very different views on this subject.
In general, solving the problem of spending more than the money being
taken in has only two solutions: decreasing spending, or increasing
revenue. In government, revenue increases means tax increases on
My view is that San Mateo County residents are already being pushed to
the limit with taxes. California has the highest state income tax in the
country. San Mateo County has a very high sales tax. Many residents are
paying very high property taxes.
I do not believe raising taxes is the answer. Don Horsely has the
opposite view. He has never met a tax he didn't like, and has
consistently voted to raise taxes. I believe we need to lower expenses.
When Mr. Horsely decided San Mateo County needed to build a very
expensive new jail, the County Manager David Boesch, an excellent County
Manager, by the way, spoke out against this enormous expense because San
Mateo County didn't need the jail, and couldn't afford it. As a result,
Horsely fired him.
San Mateo County also runs the Sequoia Health Care District, soaking up
tax dollars without a hospital for years now, and having highly paid
employees decide how to donate these tax dollars. I believe charitable
donations is an individual decision, not a taxation on residents by the
government which then decides how to donate taxpayer money. Again, Mr.
Horsely and I differ on this point.
But Horsley has made a point that, on its face, seems valid. There is a
market for police officers. San Mateo County needs to pay sheriff's
deputies a competitive wage, medical benefits, and pensions, or they
will leave San Mateo County for other jurisdictions that offer more.
As I said, this seems valid and reasonable. But when big labor is buying
candidates such as Mr. Horsley, who has received their endorsement
and has been for years who then determine where that bar should get
set, the result is a system that is out of control, and is bankrupting
San Mateo County and California.
To me, the line is easy to set. If San Mateo County employees are making
higher salaries, getting better health benefits, and better retirement
benefits than the taxpayers who pay for this, it's out of whack. It
needs to change.
I would encourage San Mateo County taxpayers to compare their own health
and retirement plans to that of Mr. Horsely himself, a former sheriff.
Horsley promised not to double dip when he took the supervisor's job,
tried to break that promise in the middle of his term (I was the one who
called him on it and forced him to back track on that), and is now
"being honest" that he will double dip in a second term.
Where is this all going? Well, sooner, rather than later, San Mateo
County will start assessing an income tax also. Unless it does, it will
go bankrupt, like Detroit. (And right now, California police officers
are filing legal briefs in the Detroit bankruptcy through Calpers
because they know it's a matter of time before it happens here, and want
to make sure they get to sit down first in that expensive game of
musical chairs by setting the right precedents).
Is that what voters want?
I don't think so.
Give change a chance. Vote for Stogner.
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