Today the city issued several staff reports recommending that the UUT tax rate be kept at the maximum rate and that the majority of the funds go to new benefits for city employees.
In addition to pay raises for members of two employee unions, the executive management will also get a 4% pay raise.
Far more costly, will be a 35% increase in retirement pay for the same groups of employees.
The new retirement benefits will mean that the city has to increase its contribution to CalPers to 16.8% of salary from the current 11.5%. (Private employers typically contribute about 8% towards pension benefits)
The city has estimated the direct costs of these benefits in 2008 to be about $1.3M, which is more than half of the projected $2.4M revenues from the Utility Users Tax (UUT).
Mayor Furgesson has placed the pay packages on the consent calendar for next Tuesday's council meeting meaning there will be NO PUBLIC INPUT OR DISCUSSION unless at least two council members object.
It is time that the new council majority started being more accountable to the voters on taxes and spending if they do not want to go the way of the old council majority.