Coming Soon to Concord: The tax rate increase we approved back in November

March 16, 2011 14:04 pm · 102 comments

The Board of Equalization announced today that new local sales tax rates take effect April 1, 2011.

Local sales tax increases approved in 14 cities in last November’s election will result in tax rate increases in 13 cities across California.

The table below summarizes the voter-approved local sales and use tax rate increases in 14 California cities:

Concord new tax will increase the tax on retail taxable goods, but not groceries, utility bills, medications or mortgages. However, it will increase the tax on automobiles purchased in Concord, but only if you register the vehicle within the Concord city limits.

The tax will last for the next five years, and will help close the City of Concord’s $5-million budget deficit.

1 oh yay March 16, 2011 at 2:14 PM

I be shopping more in Martinez. And will seriously compare more the Wal-Mart items versus Costco items. I have a feeling my cleaining and paper supply stuff will now benefit Martinez and not Concord. Shame.

2 Billy Bejeepers March 16, 2011 at 2:21 PM

Same here #1. We’ve decided to do 99% of our shopping outside of Concord and to let those who voted for this tax increase to pay for it themselves. We already do a large part of our shopping in Solano County now.

3 Ian March 16, 2011 at 2:28 PM

Five more expensive areas, Eight less expensive.
0% = 1
.25% = 3
.5% = 9
1.0% = 1

None of this really bothers me.

4 Hopeful March 16, 2011 at 2:30 PM

let’s hope that all pro-tax people will stick to their vote and still support shop in Concord!

5 momof4 March 16, 2011 at 2:34 PM

Regarding the quote: The tax will last for the next five years, and will help close the City of Concord’s $5-million budget deficit.

I highly doubt that it will ONLY last for the next five years… it will last until they raise it even more.

6 anon March 16, 2011 at 2:34 PM

When are the politicians going to stop spending, spending, and spending? Even worse, when is the Lemmings population going to stop voting to raise taxes? It is a business and ECONOMY killer!

I would like to see the results after a year. Lost sales, offset by the tax income from businesses which CANNOT do anything to stop this madness!

When you add up the sales tax, gas tax, federal tax, property tax, sewer tax, parks and recreation tax, utility tax…you will find out that HALF of your money goes to the GOVERNMENT. They GIVE IT to people who DO NOT WORK. They WASTE IT.


7 bluebird March 16, 2011 at 2:45 PM

The tax increase is necessary to close the budget deficit because the city cannot hire managers (police chiefs?) who know the difference of comments and actions that are considered sexually harrassing or discriminatory. Let’s hope within the next 5 years there are no new lawsuits for the city to have to pay.

8 anon March 16, 2011 at 2:46 PM

61% of Californians support the sales tax extension being placed on the June ballot. Come on R’s get with the program, you don’t have a mandate and don’t know what the people want.

9 doomsayer March 16, 2011 at 2:49 PM

It will only last five years, hurumpph. We are still paying the ‘temporary’ tax from 1940, ’58, ’62, ’89, ’93, ’96, 2003 and ’09.
Three years ago I predicted that the state tax raise would cause businesses and citizens to leave, on top of more people going to lower tax land to purchase high dollar items. California went into the hole by passing that tax.
So whats wrong with this tax other then no tax ever goes away and the dummy representatives you elected will screw it off as have they done with every cent we ever gave them. I did not see any directies for this tax. I can get more satisfaction by pissing off a skyscraper.

10 Lime Ridge March 16, 2011 at 2:50 PM

I am going to drive to Modesto to do all of my shopping. The sales tax there is only 8.3%. That’s a savings of almost 1.5%.

So if I spend $400 at Costco, I will save nearly $5.

11 RunnerDope March 16, 2011 at 2:56 PM

If you buy $100 of taxable goods in Concord, the increased tax is 50 cents.
If you drive to Martinez to shop (5 miles away), your gas cost is about 2 dollars. Not to mention the cost of your time.

12 Miket March 16, 2011 at 2:58 PM

The tax increase “we” approved did not include me. Jacking up the tax rate is just a easy fix to a out of control problem.

13 to Lime Ridge March 16, 2011 at 2:59 PM

Ya – you will save $5 in tax by driving to Modesto to do your shopping but probably pay about $40 in gas to get there and back! Stupid thing to say.

14 JoAnne March 16, 2011 at 3:01 PM

**The tax will last for the next five years, and will help close the City of Concord’s $5-million budget deficit.**

And if you believe that, I have a bridge in Arizona that I’ll sell you. With a small tax attached. But only for five years.

Concord will be but a bittersweet memory for us as of May 1.

15 ANON March 16, 2011 at 3:05 PM

Instaed of fixing the problem they just want more from us. FIX THE PENSIONS including the POLICE!

Of course the City Manager is in on the Pension Plan so he doesn’t want to fix it.

The lessons of Bell Calif. did not take.

16 @Lime Ridge March 16, 2011 at 3:17 PM

I’ve gotta know what you drive that you can go all the way to Modesto to save $5 and still come out ahead after car expenses!

17 anon March 16, 2011 at 3:17 PM

“Lime Ridge March 16, 2011 at 2:50 PM

I am going to drive to Modesto to do all of my shopping. The sales tax there is only 8.3%. That’s a savings of almost 1.5%.

So if I spend $400 at Costco, I will save nearly $5.”

And $400 at Costco usually fills our SUV. And IF you drive from Claycord to Modesto (and back), you are going to spend five or six times that $5 on gas. Not counting the total waste of time.

18 idk who March 16, 2011 at 3:21 PM

maby we should stop wasting money on everything.. 9.25% is already so much we all pay taxes on everything. i already work hard for my money

19 Man in the Middle March 16, 2011 at 3:21 PM

Love Concord but hate it’s leaders. Wish I could spend other peoples money. Not enough money, simply raise taxes and/or impose more fees.
CUT EVERYTHING 10% ACROSS THE BOARD, NO EXCEPTIONS. Same goes for state and fed. Equal cuts means no bitching from any sector. Don’t like……….. leave.
Why haven’t any politicians made this simple and fair suggestion?

20 Skyscraper March 16, 2011 at 3:29 PM

When are the politicians and the “sheep” voters going to learn that raising tax rates equals a reduction in overall tax revenues. The city of Concord is now going to lose all future tax revenue from me when I start shopping in Pleasant Hill, Martinez, and Walnut Creek. Can you imagine how many more people in the area would start shopping in Concord if the voters passed a ballot measure to DECREASE the sales tax by any percentage? Some people just cannot think beyond their noses.

21 Ian March 16, 2011 at 3:44 PM

That is not necessarily so. It may be, but not necessarily. That is a matter of elasticity and would require an analysis to prove. But implying certainty in your statement would only certainly be incorrect.

And by the way, I voted against the raise, I just don’t feel whining about it or going out of my way to avoid my own city’s revenue potential is productive in any manner. It’s like a child that didn’t get there way. But, that’s politics, huh?

22 I can save you money March 16, 2011 at 3:47 PM

Just buy everything from Amazon! They can keep raising the sales tax, but it won’t do any good.

Some would argue that the solution is to figure out how to tax Amazon sales. Those people are criminals, because they want to steal your hard earned dollars. The proper soluation is to figure out how to decrease the sales tax.

23 anonamom March 16, 2011 at 4:04 PM

Mr. Mayor you could have left off that last sentence, or altered it to say, It’s only SUPPOSED to last 5 years, and IF we can hold the City more accountable in the future than we have been able to in the past, it COULD help close the Budget Gap, and that’s a really big ” IF “!

24 David Molstad March 16, 2011 at 4:09 PM

This tax is nothing more than a way to maintain some semblance of the status quo even though income is declining. The sheeple have voted to try and maintain services through additional taxes.

IF, we had a council that was truly working for the people, the tax issue would never have been up for a vote.

Don’t like the tax? Vote the city council out and vote in people who are not politicians! People of good character and good values.

25 anonamom March 16, 2011 at 4:10 PM

And to everyone else: I also voted no on the tax increase, but on every $100 you spend, this tax adds only 50cents. We can’t drive very far out of town to shop on only 50 cents worth of gas…let alone go over a bridge to shop ;)

26 Man in the Middle March 16, 2011 at 4:13 PM

@ Skyscraper # 20,
Politicians can’t see past their noses because their noses are stuck so far up the wahzoos of anybody who can promise mass votes.
It’s really a very simple formula; Cater to those who can promise mass votes and repay them with your tax dollars.
Any politician who starts his/her career being honest is soon corrupted by the system or is run off by the others.

To clarify and add to my post # 19;
Cut salaries; 5% for those making 50k or less.
10% for those making 51 to 80k.
15% for those making 81 to 110k.
20% for those making above 110K.
Then cut departmental funding across the board 10%.
Don’t like it ……….leave. Your replacement is waiting.

27 area man March 16, 2011 at 4:15 PM

@ #1 and #2 and all the other smart people saying they will drive further to save a fraction of a percent on their sales tax. let me know how that pans out. spending a dime to save a nickel, brilliant.

28 Leigha March 16, 2011 at 4:16 PM

I do believe Lime Ridge’s comment was tongue in cheek. He is showing how asinine people are to drive further away to do their shopping.
Of course reading between the lines can be difficult for many.

29 @limeridge/runner dope March 16, 2011 at 4:19 PM

Nice tries. But, for one, I live in North Concord, quite near the freeways. 6 1/2 miles, nearly all freeway to Wal-Mart. 3 1/2 miles all city street to Costco. Distance difference … 54% difference in distance. City street gas mileage vs freeway…. 45% difference. Gas cost for habit change, negligible. Esp. if concerted effort made to do it after work on commute home from Solano County… less gas used than a trip to Costco.

And, didn’t say it would necessarily change my driving habits at all. I will simply be spending MORE dollars in the city of Martinez than I previously spent in the city of Concord, same will go for future car purchases, and fastfood and dining out.

30 Ian March 16, 2011 at 4:23 PM

I just figured Lime Ridge was being sarcastic.

31 Ian March 16, 2011 at 4:24 PM

That is to say, I agree Leigha

32 BooyahBob March 16, 2011 at 4:44 PM

I am really tired of the “no new taxes” crowd. We’ve been hearing that for 20 years and where has it gotten us? We want things like good schools, police, fire and effective government, but we don’t want to pay for it and the simplistic thinking behind “no new taxes” has put us in an untenable situation. Here’s the problem: all of these people tend to be older and vote by high margins. You know the turnout of people 18-34 in the midterm election? 15%. If you are tired of the same old “anti tax” crap that gives us bad budgets and fiscal emergencies year after year, please vote, instead of complain!

33 Uh, I get sarcasm March 16, 2011 at 5:10 PM

So you morons actually think Lime Ridge #10 was being serious?

Really, you people give yourselves WAAAAYYY too much credit for how “quick” you are.

34 @ Bob #32 March 16, 2011 at 5:14 PM

So who’s stopping you from overpaying your taxes, and pushing for others doing the same?

35 Public Pension Meltdown March 16, 2011 at 5:26 PM

Get used to those higher taxes, people. California’s UNFUNDED liability JUST for public retiree healthcare now stands at $59.9 BILLION. That’s “billion” with a “b”.

But there is some “good” news. CalPERS pension liability won’t “grow” since they are voting to keep an assumed rate of return of 7.75%, even though their own actuary originally petitioned for 7.5%, which itself is unrealistic. And is this 7.75% based on anything concrete in nature? No, not really…they’re only keeping it there since the member agencies of CalPERS lobbied them not to raise it, since that would have required additional contributions from these agencies.

California, going off the cliff…

36 Andrea March 16, 2011 at 5:43 PM

No problem. Whatever helps!

37 anonymous March 16, 2011 at 5:54 PM

I for one, approve of the sales tax increase. Its the only way we can keep up with paying off the sexual harrassment suits at the Police Department. If we didn’t raise taxes they would have to straighten up.

We might even consider raising taxes a bit more, just in case.

38 Atticus Thraxx March 16, 2011 at 6:01 PM

I don’t like paying tax. Don’t like bagpipes or aerosol cheese either. Figured I’d share that with you while I wait for a coworker to go out for dinner. The most incredibly boring human I’ve ever been forced to spend time with.At least his breath doesn’t reek. I’ll let you know if any taxes are paid.

39 no, new, taxes March 16, 2011 at 6:22 PM

So, since husband and I are in our early thirties… you assume our votes are the ones ya want huh Bob? I don’t think so. Unlike the college students out protesting how we can’t cut their funding, my husband and I live in the *real world* where we support ourselves and our children.

And I’ll be voting down tax increases. And likely the extensions as well. I have my own bills to provide for. I cannot afford to help everyone else. And in terms of prioritizing, college education is the bottom rung in terms of priority for TAX money to go to. Do cuts hurt? Yes, they do. Do I like them? No, I don’t. But the insolvency this state faces without drastic and permanent cuts in spending is far, far worse for my kids futures. If that means college students work part time or fulltime and essentially take longer to get a degree SO be it. Rather see that happen, than CA return half of it’s CRIMINALS to the street, so that my family and neighbors can be their victims. Rather see that happen than see Emergency responders and firefighters/stations cut to the extent that it costs folks their lives. Now is a time to cut back, scale back, prioritize and get out of peoples lives who are capable of working, and sustaining themselves. More jobs, more money, more growth can and will happen when CA decides to stop taking it from taxpayers and those wicked “CORPORATIONS” who employ many more millions than does the state.

Have you been asleep the past four years? Has anybody who supports higher taxes and paying more NOT noticed how much HAS gone up?
Let me recap, what maybe you aren’t aware of, all of which are things which have directly impacted this working class family of two parents and three children.

1) Increased toll fees. Up $2 -$4 in the past four years. Including the loss of free carpooling.
2) Increased BART, MUNI/bus fares across cities Bay Area wide
3) Increased state sales tax
4) increased local sales tax
5) increased DMV registration fees
6) increased in local bonds, measures that add up to a higher property tax bill
7) increase in state income tax rates
8) loss of our neighborhood school
9) increases in fees for things like state parks, etc
10) and last, and most painfully, when our fearless legislators enacted the “temporary tax increases” they also “temporarily” changed the tax code to that has targeted working families by reducing the child tax deduction from about $310 per child to $99. That’s right, without “raising taxes” they just tweaked the code so at the end of the year our taxes owed to the state went up $633.

Those changes, in total, for our family ended up costing our family over $2,000 more given to the county, and state and state-run agencies. In one year. That hurts. That’s money I can’t save. Can’t use to pay off my own loans and become more solvent myself. Can’t use to stimulate the economy by, say, being able to take a vacation this year. On and on.

And so you just wanted to tax our way out of $26 billion this year. And then another $20 billion the following year. And the year after that and that … really?

And before you might acuse me of seeing it only from one perspective, I don’t. I AM one of the SEIU employed civil servants. I’ve followed the budget issues very closely from the state level, down to the county I work for. I have family and friends employed by the Mt Diablo district. In fact I have close family that are: prison guards, fire fighters and fellow county workers. I get it. I’ve seen them furloughed, facing furloughs and will soon join their ranks. Even if they may not agree, the truth is there is no way we can increase tax to undo all those things I listed above. We cannot tax and spend our way to undo the cuts that have already happened, not get out of the current DECADE LONG problem looming ahead of us.

But see, I get the BIG picture. And the fact is this: We treated CA like some magic cow, that for decades we thought we could pump full of hormones and steroids and make this magic cow have millions of teets that could support everybody. Add a program here, add a program there.
We had too many laws, too many programs, and thought it would be great to just keep doing more, not keep unions and city/state/county workers pay in line in reasonable amounts. Then, finally we realized the milk wasn’t coming out anymore. Cuz the cow was half dead from what we did.

I’ve seen my county, from the time i began working there, decrease it’s overall workforce by over 15%, We’re looking to reduce it even further. And in the same time, the economy blew up, and we have more people than ever coming in for services (medi-cal, foodstamps, welfare, etc). And yet, fewer of us, more work than ever, and we’re just working harder, and faster.
And that’s how it SHOULD BE. We should be well run, efficient. We’re working on the public dime. We should have reasonable wages – not crazy high salaries. We should have industry standard benefits, and retirements that we contribute to that don’t jeopardize the future of the public we serve.

Back to the first point. I’m in that “young/college” demographic. And it wasn’t college that taught me ANY of that, it was, real life.

40 slagheap March 16, 2011 at 6:27 PM

hmm, i wonder where those claycordians griping over a 1/2% increase in local sales tax were when bush #43 was conducting his 2 trillion dollar circle jerk in iraq. that’s 2 trillion and counting…

41 Bobby Sands March 16, 2011 at 6:35 PM

Thraxx, I do not like taxes at all nor aeorsol cheese. Well played pipes are fine with me. Only an idiot, of which you are not, would vote to continue taxes and to increase them.

42 DoReMi March 16, 2011 at 7:08 PM

When taxes go up, I spend less. This is true for most of the population. If you want to increase revenues, try slashing the pay scale of city employees that make $200,000 or more. That alone would add millions to our disposible income. The wages/pensions of our city employee’s are bankrupting us.

43 anon March 16, 2011 at 7:21 PM

I cannot believe that any citizen would vote to give another dime to any government, whether it be local, county, or state.

Look at it this way — if you are happy with the way things are, then by all means continue to give them more money.

If not, then vote no on more taxes.

44 Atticus Thraxx March 16, 2011 at 7:28 PM

Trust me Bobby, I’m an idiot. Gave money to H.Ross Perot campaign a while back and actually had a mullet going in the early 90s.

45 BooyahBob March 16, 2011 at 7:40 PM

Hey “no, new taxes” — it turns out that salaries in the public sector are actually lower across the board than comparable skill levels in industry. And all of these other taxes going up? They are barely keeping up with inflation. Should BART cost the same as it did 10 years ago? Its underlying costs are going up just like everything else. Cuts should be on the table, but to balance the budget it will take a mixture of cuts and new revenue sources. To take a simple-minded approach and say, “no new taxes at any cost”, means that there will be a huge cost in inappropriate, economy-killing cuts.

Don’t forget also, that the “no new tax” crowd tend to vote for Republicans, who have severely weakened worker protection institutions like labor unions over the past 30 years. Labor unions gave things like the 5-day work week, paid time off and a strong middle class. Do you like those? Then stop voting on things like abortion, social issues and tax cuts, and be realistic — balancing the budget will take a mix of solutions, and putting more right-wing people into office is going to make most people’s lives worse.

46 Freakazoid March 16, 2011 at 7:43 PM

DoReMi, that is an exaggeration. Most public employees do not make $200,000. On the other hand, a typical local hospital CEO makes over $1M per year. Is it really that public sector that is the problem?

47 David Molstad March 16, 2011 at 7:45 PM

The idea behind a sales tax is that when you earn more you purchase more and then income to the government increases. And this has worked pretty good. But now it is not. People are tired of taxes upon taxes and the people we elect to manage government business for us are wearing Armani telling us us we need to give them more money and we wear Sears.

Any city really needs to supply basic services, police, fire, building codes, sewer, water and a couple of other little things. Individuals and business can do the rest. We sure don’t need the nanny city council we have how.

48 Concord Dave March 16, 2011 at 7:52 PM

Reminds me of the “60s. Flower Power, Revolution! Should’ve happened then, how about now?

49 Fire the city workers! Then what? March 16, 2011 at 8:24 PM

Why are people so eager to villify City of Concord employees? We offered them a job for a certain amount of money and most of them probably do a good job for us and work hard for that money. I think many of them have taken cuts recently and it didn’t do a thing to improve people’s opinion of them, so what would their motivation be to voluntarily give up anything else? You could replace them with cheaper workers like #26 suggested, and in some positions you might not even notice the difference. There are a lot of positions, though, where I personally do not want “replacements” with less experience doing the job.

I don’t think city employees should be untouchable by any means, but it sure seams like a lot of people on here want to somehow pin all of our problems on them. How about we cut all the freeloaders on welfare, and the like, who don’t do ANY work for us or contribute ANYTHING to society before we direct all of our energy towards city workers who are trying to work for a living? Then, if we still need more money, we’ll come back to the city employees for more pay cuts.

I am not associated with the City of Concord in any way other than being a resident. I actually do not like the direction the city is going in. However, I have been happy with all of the city services I receive (police, graffitti removal, landscaping) and it seems these people are doing a pretty good job. The section 8 freeloaders on my dime I am not so satisfied with.

50 anonymous March 16, 2011 at 8:41 PM

Driving out of town to shop would be much more expensive since gas prices are rising like crazy.

The cost of gasoline and driving will cost much more than saving a fraction of a percent on sales tax.

Groceries are not taxed. Shopping in Concord for groceries is still tax free. Only hot food is taxed. Shopping for food outside of the city would make you spend more on gas. Gas is going to go over $4 per gallon.

51 Lisa March 16, 2011 at 9:02 PM

@ 49, Fire the city workers! Then what?

Maybe no one told you but we are broke friend. There ain’t enough GD money to pay for everything so something must be done. Concord is TOP HEAVY with salaries and benefits. Cutting welfare is a great idea but will not help Concord since it’s fed money.
Got any more great ideas?

52 cornfed March 16, 2011 at 9:41 PM

Hey YahooBoob,

So we’re supposed to raise taxes to keep up with inflation? How ’bout we cut sh!t out of the budget like in real life.

And show me a credible source reflecting like skills of public employees being compensated at a lower rate. If a public sector worker has the skills to earn more money, why doesn’t he leave? That one’s a laugher.

Us “simple-minded” folks are the one’s getting f’d over by the government the most. We’re the OP in OPM, which is why you despise us.

Economy-killing cuts? If higher taxes are so great, why does everything suck? And if everything doesn’t suck, why do we need higher taxes? You’re pathetically self-contradictory, but at least honest about your political agenda.

53 Mr. Anon E. Mouse March 16, 2011 at 10:12 PM

“it turns out that salaries in the public sector are actually lower across the board than comparable skill levels in industry.”

YaH, I’m gunna have to call Bullshite on that. I did a little research awhiles back when I found out how much the city managers make in CCC. For comparable pay to a CEO that runs a company of 400-500 employees, we are paying our beloved Mr. Keen 10-25% more then a private sector employee. I unfortunately didn’t bookmark the info but anyone with half a brain can look up this info.

54 @cornfed March 16, 2011 at 10:23 PM

Are you receiving a farm subsidy? You want to cut maintenance of the streets? Then you’d be complaining about pot holes. You want to cut sewer services maybe we can start at your place. Get real. You don’t want to contribute to living in a city, leave. You want an example of private getting paid more than public, look at engineers. Engineers leave pubic all the time to go private for more money. And by the way everything sucks because the R’s can’t run a government. They can tear something down but can’t replace it with something that works.

55 concordanon March 16, 2011 at 11:37 PM

I didn’t vote for the sales tax increase because I didn’t want Concord merchants to be at a disadvantage compared to merchants in neighboring cities. That being said, I won’t bitch and moan about paying it. I’m glad the money will stay in Concord. I’m perfectly willing to pay for the graffiti cleanup crews, the police, the people who fill the potholes, the landscaping crews… It’s all good. It makes Concord a nicer city to live in.

56 Concordanon March 16, 2011 at 11:50 PM

About private sector vs. public sector wages:

In general, those without a college education earn more if they work for the government. But those with a college education earn more if they work in the private sector. It varies a lot from state to state and job to job. But in general, that’s how it works out.

In California, state workers without college degrees earn, on average, 34.8% more than private sectors workers without degrees. But state workers with college degrees earn 11.9% less than private sector workers with college degrees. The New York Times recently did an analysis. Here’s the article:

Here’s a state by state list of public vs. private salary comparisons:

57 BigSky March 17, 2011 at 12:01 AM

I second that cornfed. The Republicans can rip and tear and cut but they never propose anything to replace that works better. It’s easy to just cut. Of course, they are scared to cut Medicare (over 30% of the fed budget) because of their voting base.

58 Jerry Brown March 17, 2011 at 12:13 AM

This is the solution! We can tax our way into prosperity. Want another great idea? If money is tight, just charge your purchases on VISA and pay the bill with Mastercard. I’m also mounting grow lights over my roof top solar pannels so that I can save $$$ 24 hours a day. And please remember to vote for tax extensions next election! You can’t afford not to pay more.

59 Alex March 17, 2011 at 3:49 AM

Next year registering biz in another city… problem solved.

60 cornfed March 17, 2011 at 7:45 AM

Thanks for proving all of my points once again Boob. By the way, I am in the process of leaving California and returning to the USA.

No one said anything about not paying ANY taxes. We don’t want or need MORE taxes. Come to think of it, private industry could provide the services you mentioned cheaper and more efficiently.

I’m pretty sure the R’s aren’t in power in places like California, and haven’t been for a long time. Funny how these are the worse states now. Frankly, I couldn’t care less what political party you’re from. Just respect the taxpayer. But in a sponge culture like California you probably don’t know what that means.

61 PPM March 17, 2011 at 8:29 AM

The “higher taxes fix budgets” people are morons of the highest order. Pre-Recession, even when CA’s “revenues” were highest ever, we were STILL running a $10 BILLION deficit. And we’ve raised taxes since then…tell me, oh fiscal wizards, where does the state’s deficit stand now?

62 @cornfed March 17, 2011 at 9:00 AM

I pitty the state that gets you. But on the other hand you will have a whole new list of misery to complain about.

63 GG March 17, 2011 at 9:11 AM

While much of the screaming seems to be centered at the unfunded healthcare liabilities – damn those retirees for not just dropping dead after retirement. Where’s the screaming at the Healthcare Sector for the high cost of that care?

64 anonoman March 17, 2011 at 10:57 AM

It costs me $50 to fill my tank and now I have to pay an extra $.25 to fill my tank, twice a month, for 12 months – that’s like $6.00 a year in extra gas tax. I’m going to have to get one less caramel frappe mocha-chino exlax, elitist coffee from Starbucks this year!

How can I afford this! Damn you Jerry Brown and Obama-muslin-socialist!

65 burnbabyburn March 17, 2011 at 10:58 AM

Congratulations to the majority of Concord voters who approved this. That’s $5,000,000 more that the city can put towards the public employee pensions. Actually, maybe not. We’ll have to wait and see how much this could cost the city in lost revenue.

66 Fred March 17, 2011 at 12:36 PM

… and this ongoing taxation (city/county/state) is EXACTLY why I shut down my business of 22 years and laid off 34 employees. I couldn’t afford to stay in business, so I moved out of state….. and those employees had medical coverage while employed.

Happy (job) hunting….. maybe the citizens of Concord/Contra Costa County/California will get it right some day.

Yeah, I felt bad about closing down the business and laying people off. But the politicians (and therefore the people who elected them) aren’t interested in the long term view – only “what am I gonna get from this politician if I vote for him…”?

Pretty narrow-minded of both the voters and politicians.

67 An Armed Liberal March 17, 2011 at 1:00 PM

Well, folks, unless you ABSOLUTELY HATE TAXES AND POLITICIANS AND TYPE IN ALL CAPS A LOT, the Tea Partiers think you’re an idiot and a sheep. Remember that in the next election.

68 anonoman March 17, 2011 at 1:12 PM


Not to be a dick, but 9 out of 10 small businesses fail in the first 5 years. The ONLY reason isn’t taxes. You could go to a different State like Texas – vote with your feet and live out your good idea there. People move to preserve their livelihood all of the time. It would send CA a message.

69 @fred March 17, 2011 at 1:16 PM

I guess falling revenues and having a product people wanted to buy had nothing to do with it. Shame on the government for taxing you out of a business that had declining sales. Maybe they should have given you tax breaks to help you.

70 Anon March 17, 2011 at 1:56 PM

I didn’t vote for it so I won’t do a lot of my shopping in Concord except unfortunately groceries but everything else I will buy at Target or Walmart!

71 Not a Liberal March 17, 2011 at 2:30 PM

For all the Liberals who like to blame Republicans for this mess this state is in Please remember that it is your party that has been in control of this state for the last 20 or so years. In one way or another all of us in California have paid for state employees pensions but the state decided to keep spending and spending and now were left with all of this unfunded liability, I’m sorry but raising taxes is not the answer and neither are the elected officials we currently have who have been in bed with the unions for years.

72 APRIL FOOLS! March 17, 2011 at 2:41 PM


73 @ the tax lovers March 17, 2011 at 3:34 PM

I know, it’s so crazy to think that the state that routinely is ranked at or near the bottom for business climate could EVER drive a business out-of-business with high taxes and excessive regulation.

It’s crazy I say, perish the very thought!

74 cornfed March 17, 2011 at 5:02 PM

Negative on that Boob.

No misery to report here. I started a business that’s doing quite well, and now am moving out of California so that I can expand it. Yes, I pity the state (that I won’t name) that get’s my business, spends my tax money repsonsibly, and benefits from the jobs I’m about to create. I know that no matter what state I’m in, there will always be losers who depise success. I’m just going to move to one where the majority of people don’t.

It’s those who must live off of the produce of others- and then complain that it’s not enough- that are always the most miserable. Like you for instance.

So while you’re pitying yourself and projecting it as anger toward people like me, just remember, you can always follow me to another state and ruin it too. But please don’t.

75 An Armed Liberal March 17, 2011 at 5:22 PM

Depending on who you ask, the California economy is either 6th or 7th largest IN THE WORLD, and our tax and regulatory burden is substantially lower than most large economies. “Horrible business climate” my ass, if you think this market sucks for business I’ve got some advice for you: your business acumen sucks, and any business you start is doomed to failure.

In short: stop blaming California. If you can’t make it here, you can’t make it anywhere else either.

Source: I ran a business for a decade and in that time heard countless losers whine about how “hard” it was to run a business in California when it was plain as day that they were just terrible businessmen.

76 anonoman March 17, 2011 at 6:19 PM

@Not a Liberal
ahnold was part of what party again? Do Republicans just have like an 8 year amnesia or something. Does it go Clinton to Obama to you all?

77 Shuley March 17, 2011 at 6:55 PM

Voting to raise LOCAL taxes makes sense. Local revenue is spent far more responsibly and locals have more control over where the money is spent.

I am sickened by the hypocrisy I see every day. I work with a guy who is a vet, who calls himself a “Reagan Republican” and bitches about taxes all of the time. Needless to say, his ENTIRE life has been funded by taxpayers. I repsect his service, however, he was paid: while he served, we funded his entire college tuition, he got a cost of living entitlement while in school, he recieves a lifetime pension AND a disability check (even though he participates in a local softball league with a bunch of other veterans) he gets free healthcare, and tax free goods and services on base. Guess what? It’s all funded by taxes!!

The problem really stems from the fact that we are forced to pay taxes, because we refuse taxes too often. That may not make sense to everyone here. Let me give you an example. We failed to pass a tax measure 2 years ago that would have placed a 99 dollar parcel tax to help fund schools. The following year, we passed a Bond measure to help fund schools. Even though these dollars were not for the exact same purposes, we had a problem paying for something, but NOT a problem borrowing money, at interest, to pay for something?

We borrow too much, instead of just paying for it. That is catching up to us so we have huge interest payments on debt and cannot afford to budget what we need. So, the cycle starts again.

We should change the law so a 50% vote raises taxes, and a 66.6% vote passes bonds. It should be more difficult to authorize the proverbial credit card than to pay for it on the spot..

78 Shuley March 17, 2011 at 7:06 PM

@ not a liberal

Do your homework, since 1900, there have been 20 Governors of this state, only 5 have been Democrats (counting Jerry Brown 2X). Democrats have been Governor only 3 1/2 of the last 20 years. Don’t say the legislature has all of the control because most of those years they have not had Veto power.

79 @cornfed March 17, 2011 at 8:18 PM

I don’t believe you……….I think you’re full of shit.

80 C March 17, 2011 at 8:38 PM

An Armed Liberal: you said, ” . . . our tax and regulatory burden is substantially lower than most large economies.” Your opinion is no match for reality . . . businesses are leaving California in droves precisely because of “our tax and regulatory burden”. For example . . .

It should also be noted that the exodus tends to be from Blue states to Red ones.

81 C March 17, 2011 at 8:40 PM

Shuley @ 78: so you’re saying that CA is a RED state? Really?

82 Sawyer March 17, 2011 at 8:55 PM

My prediction, the City of Concord sees more sales tax revenue and greater overall sales next year. In other words the economy will recover a bit more and the sky won’t fall. Anyone care to take a wager on that?

Hey Cornfed, tell us the state….if it’s so great I’m sure they’d love the PR. I also want to check a few stats to see how much greater it is and how it’s in-going/out-going federal tax rate compares….you know….if they’re consistent with their beliefs. Come on don’t be all talk…what’s the state?

83 @ shuley March 17, 2011 at 10:23 PM

What has been consistent in the last few decades is that California politics has trended towards the Democratic Party and away from the Republican Party. Once very conservative, having elected Republicans, California is now a reliable liberal, Democratic state. Since 1990, California has generally elected Democratic candidates to federal, state and local offices, including current Governor Jerry Brown; however, the state has elected Republican Governors, though many of its Republican Governors, such as Arnold Schwarzenegger, tend to be considered “Moderate Republicans” and more centrist than the national party.

84 @ shuley March 17, 2011 at 10:29 PM

The Democrats also hold a majority in both houses of the state legislature. There are currently 52 Democrats and 27 Republicans in the Assembly; and 25 Democrats and 15 Republicans in the Senate. Much like the problem your president face’s now, Republican Gov. have had the same problem, get elected have a Democratic controlled house and assembly try to get things done get shot down, we could play this record over and over and over and over again!

85 cornfed March 17, 2011 at 11:54 PM

You can think what you want, but do you think the thousands of others who’ve left the state for the same reason are also full of shit? If so, I’m happy to fit that description.

Say what you will, call us what you will, but I’m leaving. And nothing changes the fact that fifteen minutes after I cross the state line, you and your miserable existence won’t even be a distant memory.

86 cornfed March 17, 2011 at 11:57 PM

Oh yeah. Sawyer, nice try.

87 @Cornfed March 18, 2011 at 7:56 AM

So leave.

88 DoReMi March 18, 2011 at 7:57 AM

Freakazoid March 16, 2011 at 7:43 PM
DoReMi, that is an exaggeration. Most public employees do not make $200,000. On the other hand, a typical local hospital CEO makes over $1M per year. Is it really that public sector that is the problem?

An exageration to you is scrimping in order to afford more important things to me. Like schools for instance. I posted a list a while back of some of our top draw on the budget. In this site is the plan to only compensate with in our means:

The City will not
promise that any base pay rate increase will be provided for more than one year and reserves the right to reduce Managers’ base pay
rates for any reason, including but not limited to budget and performance Generally, the ICA will be divided between base pay rate and
lump sum on a 70/30 percentage basis. 70% of the award will be applied to current base pay rate and will be distributed over twenty-six
(26) pay periods. The awarded ICA will be distributed between base pay rate and lump sum on a 70/30 percentage basis. 70% of the
award will be applied to current base pay rate and will be distributed over twenty-six (26) pay periods. Lump sums resulting from an
overall performance rating of “Outstanding” and “Superior” will be reported to CalPERS over the time period earned (prior fiscal year).
Lump sums resulting from a rating of “Good” will not be reported to CalPERS.

Where are THe Auditors and why are we closing schools in favor of management and other pencil pushers?

89 @ Armed Liberal March 18, 2011 at 9:12 AM

You’re wrong.

California really does have a horrible business climate.

Source: I’m not a dumbass.
They gave the booby prize for worst state to California,
“The leadership of California has done everything in its power to kill manufacturing jobs in this state,”
Bill Dormandy, CEO of San Francisco medical device maker ITC, summed it up: “California has a good living environment but is unfavorable to business and the state taxes are not survivable. Nevada and Virginia are encouraging business to move to their states with lower tax rates and less regulatory demands.”
As of Dec. 31, 2010, California remained the state with the highest sales tax rate in the U.S. at 7.25 percent (it’s higher in many municipalities). This is according to the latest annual study issued by Vertex Inc., a tax firm based in Berwyn, Pa. See a summary at “Average Combined Sales and Use Tax Rate Hits Record High in 2010.”
Pg 3, Table 1, “Business Tax Climate”
California’s Rank: 49
Oh, good news, CA 32nd overall here….but #48 in COST OF DOING BUSINESS.

90 @cornfed March 18, 2011 at 9:15 AM

You’re still here?

91 @ cornfed March 18, 2011 at 9:18 AM

My suspicion is you’re joining me here in Texas. I’m getting used to the boots and belt buckles. But best decision I’ve ever made, both for my family and business. Even my wife, who was skeptical all along, now freely admits she cannot believe what a positve change it has been in getting the hell out of California.

92 Sawyer March 18, 2011 at 9:32 AM

Come on Cornfed what could possibly be harmed by you saying what states you’re moving to? Is it a super secret state that we’re not allowed to know about? Or heaven forbid are you just making this all up? If course I’m sure that’s never happened on the internet before. I just don’t see what you would be risking by telling us the state and the line of work you’re in.

I still remember people I knew who moved to Nevada because it was more “business friendly”. Last I checked it’s unemployment rate is worse then California and with the exception of the Lake Tahoe area….it looks like Nevada….but you do get your lower taxes…..and it looks like Nevada….

93 Shuley March 18, 2011 at 9:57 AM

I never said California is a “Red” state. I am saying that it is not as liberal as one might think it is. All along the coast (except for strongly conservative Orange County) you will find mostly democratically controlled liberal points of view. Go over the hills to most of California, and you’ll see a much different story. You’ll see a more rural, farming based community and much more republican controlled, conservative areas. Ironically, ou’ll also see where a larger percentage of public welfare is used (LA being the exeption).

Look at the most recent elections and the measures pertaining to gay marriage and legalization of marijuana and you mighjt think twice about how liberal California is. Other states had no problem legalizing gay marriage.

I would say that California most represents a Republican run operation when we cannot pass taxes (or lower taxes and hoot and holler about how much we are helping the people) and then selling Billions in bonds to pay for shit and passing the cost to the next generation.

If we don’t pay taxes and pay for it NOW, we will have a much larger tab later.

94 Shuley March 18, 2011 at 10:15 AM

@ Cornfed

If you are moving to Texas, enjoy not paying income tax and the whopping 1-1.5% you’ll save in sales tax.

However, let us know when you get that property tax bill. If you buy a $250,000 home, you are looking at $6000-$7000 a year. Have fun with the rednecks!

95 @ Armed Liberal March 18, 2011 at 10:23 AM

You are wrong.

California DOES have a horrible business climate.

Source: FACTS
As of Dec. 31, 2010, California remained the state with the highest sales tax rate in the U.S. at 7.25 percent (it’s higher in many municipalities). This is according to the latest annual study issued by Vertex Inc., a tax firm based in Berwyn, Pa. See a summary at “Average Combined Sales and Use Tax Rate Hits Record High in 2010.”
651 CEOs across the U.S. again gave Texas top honors, closely followed by North Carolina, Tennessee and Virginia. They gave the booby prize for worst state to California
(But I’m sure these 651 CEOs are “terrible businessmen,” right Armed Liberal?)

“The leadership of California has done everything in its power to kill manufacturing jobs in this state,” observed another CEO.
“California has a good living environment but is unfavorable to business and the state taxes are not survivable.
10 Worst States For Starting A Business
California: #49
“Most small businesses in California don’t want to leave, but policymakers are nudging them out,”
California: #49
Hey, good news!!! CA is 32nd overall!
Cost of Doing Business: #48
Business Friendliness: #49
Hmm, not very good news for small businesses in California.

96 @ Armed Liberal March 18, 2011 at 10:25 AM

second link above should be:

97 @ cornfed March 18, 2011 at 10:41 AM

If you are going to Texas, you can also enjoy the best business climate in America, and a refreshing low ratio of liberal dumbasses who think taxes are a cure-all.

98 Kotter March 18, 2011 at 10:53 AM

“farming based community and much more republican controlled, conservative areas. Ironically, ou’ll also see where a larger percentage of public welfare is used (LA being the exeption).”

Ooh, brilliant veiled implication of those conservative bastions. Welfare leeches. Of course we won’t make any mention of the “origin” of the people who comprise a large portion of the population in these “farming based community(ies).”

99 Fred March 18, 2011 at 11:47 AM


The income/revenue stream I had in my 22-year business had been steadily increasing up until about 20 months ago, at which time it stagnated and remained relatively constant; however, my discussions and research into the situation identified the primary problem as the costs associated with doing business in the SF Bay Area – not the income/revenue stream. That tied back pretty much to wages/benefits, permitting and other costs of doing business that are not present in most other western/midwestern states reducing the net profit to the company to the point it was no longer sustainable.

As I’ve got no particular ties to the Bay Area, that cemented my decision to close out the business here and move out-of-state about 8 months ago. In that time, I’ve seen profits double and have been able to hire a total of 38 full-time employees IN THAT TIME – with benefits AND increases in wages/salaries. Not bad, considering it took about 18 years to build up to 34 employees in this state….. and the employees’ attitudes are MUCH better. They’re GLAD to have a job and the local/state governments understand their limitiations and do not get involved in things in which they have no knowledge.

Bottom line is that, in this state, the politicians think they know more about running businesses than those who own/run businesses. The ONLY thing they know is taxes and getting re-elected…… despite what they say.

The only thing I can say is, hold the politicians accountable. This has NOT happened, as the voters have continued to elect and re-elect the feel-good types who attempt to placate others with offers of their grand social engineering programs, while not understanding the basic concepts and intent of government.

Good luck, all. I’ll be checking back in a couple of weeks or so…

100 An Armed Liberal March 18, 2011 at 11:49 AM

You know, for 20 years people have been showing me “facts” about how awful California is for business, blah blah blah… seems to me there are still plenty of startups, and hell, I made plenty of money running a business here. So like I said, if you don’t like it here, feel free to join the b.s. “massive exodus of businesses leaving the state” and move to South Dakota or something… don’t worry, I’ll take care of your customers for you.

101 @ Armed Liberal March 18, 2011 at 12:42 PM

Snappy retort for someone who was unequivocally proven WRONG.

And it’s very unbecoming to be trolling for more paper route “customers.”

102 cornfed March 18, 2011 at 10:06 PM


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