Concord’s “Measure Q” Expiring, City Ponders Next Step to Avoid Potential Loss of Funds

July 7, 2014 10:00 am · 46 comments

cityservices

The City of Concord’s Measure Q, which was passed by voters in 2010 to add a half-cent sales tax on retail goods and help close the city’s $5M budget deficit, is expiring soon, and the City of Concord is contemplating their next move to avoid a potential loss of funds.

Please click on the flyer above to read more from City Manager Valerie Barone.

To view the City of Concord’s Fiscal Challenges & Service Priorities website, please click ON THIS LINK.

1 Dorothy July 7, 2014 at 10:20 AM

So a temporary tax that is suppose to expire will be replaced somehow with “fees” or whatever. Did anyone really believe that after the time frame ended that politicians would let it go?

2 Atticus Thraxx July 7, 2014 at 10:30 AM

The “tax was temporary” made me laugh in 2010, now you see why.

3 Just me July 7, 2014 at 10:34 AM

As stated before. The tax would not be temporary. Now since this measure is expiring I’m sure the city will introduce a new tax measure or find another way to stick it to us as usual.

4 MTZ July 7, 2014 at 10:35 AM

“Temporary”

5 The Mamba July 7, 2014 at 10:40 AM

Measure Q was touted as a stopgap to help the city maintain services after rapid losses in property values because of the Recession. Home values are back near their highs, so measure Q should expire and the city should thank the citizens for helping them through that period.

6 oldman July 7, 2014 at 11:04 AM

bohica

7 Concord becoming Oakland July 7, 2014 at 11:04 AM

Right down to the scammy political tricks. Glad I moved to a different city.

8 RANDOM TASK July 7, 2014 at 11:05 AM

Ahhhh 1 through 4 obviously have figured out the dems plan from the start this is the first next will be school funding as the time for voting nears so does the hand outs. When we do not bow to lining their pockets again they will without a doubt go after schools like they always do ….its called blackmail …….should be used to it by now after 50 years of demifornia ……enjoy

9 No tax is ever temporary July 7, 2014 at 11:13 AM

When will people learn?

10 well... July 7, 2014 at 11:22 AM

A question….. Do you think that now home prices are back up, everyone who had a modified loan should go back to the original loan with the higher property taxes?

( I’m not trying to start a fight. I actually believe we pay to much for services. If you add up how many properties there are in Concord or even the county, there us a ton of money)

11 funny man July 7, 2014 at 11:31 AM

what’s the difference between a vampire and a politician?

a vampire knows when to stop sucking its victim dry so it can live to feed another day

another favorite: how can you tell a politician is lying?
It’s lips are moving.

12 Mr. Joshua July 7, 2014 at 11:34 AM

When property values drop, the property tax drops to match the new value of the property. When property values skyrocket, property taxes can only increase 1.25% of the value per year. So when property values dumped, so did the city’s revenue-now that values have increased, the city can’t get the same revenue it lost.

So the tax measure is necessary to maintain services.

13 Gargoyle Socks July 7, 2014 at 11:37 AM

Nothing is temporary in government.

14 PH Dad July 7, 2014 at 11:39 AM

Mr. Joshua, Actually when property values go back up, the assessor can raise the property value back up as high as the highest value before the 1.25% rate limit kicks in. They only do it once a year if I recall correctly, but don’t get too comfy with the lower property tax.

What the pols don’t see to get is that they need to live within their means, just like the citizens that they represent.

15 Doesn't the County get the lion's share of property taxes? July 7, 2014 at 11:40 AM

.

16 ClayDen July 7, 2014 at 11:41 AM

So, what steps has the city taken to live within its means once the temporary tax increase expires????????????????

17 Captain Bebops July 7, 2014 at 11:53 AM

Sounds like people need to start a grass roots movement to replace their city councils. Most of you have probably been too apathetic to even show up at council meetings or especially even run for council. You probably just vote in the “same ol’, same ol'” each time even though there may be better candidates running. I would be careful in identifying a temporary boom in housing prices. Better to have people running city government who know you can’t spend freely just because the economy is temporarily better (though I don’t think it is at all).

18 Nature Lover July 7, 2014 at 12:10 PM

The City of Concord needs to review and adjust their overly generous compensation/retirement and lifetime medical benefits before asking for more taxes, fees, etc. The status quo is not sustainable.

19 oldman July 7, 2014 at 12:15 PM

@PH Dad re. Joshua

Thanks, I am always wary of posts from liberals who rationalize tax increases. They cannot be believed. “Temporary” means temporary

20 BagsFlyFree July 7, 2014 at 12:19 PM

Measure Q makes the city council and Valerie’s job easier. When you have more money coming in, you can add fluffy fun projects to keep voters *distracted,* and keep incumbent council seats filled (water spray park, downtown signs, “auto district” signage, TSP music, etc). When the money is tight, tough budget decisions need to be made, and that may swing voters to new candidates with a different vision than the incumbents who have shown a short track record implementing positive tax boosting ideas (commercial land development/rehab, easing zoning restrictions for new development, general lighting projects, creating neighborhood coalitions, landscaping changes for water reduction, homeless tent cities etc.

Lower taxes bring out of towners in to spend in Concord (we are currently above the average CA rate).. Staying lower has its benefits especially when property values are trending higher, and older residents are driving less.

I see it this way. What benefits do we see with this sustained tax money? CPD will always preach about reduced services and how we are all going to become a gangland the second “Q” doesn’t pass. I don’t buy it. How has the city managed to boost the lowest tiered neighborhoods to raise the general property values in the city? For all the Bishop Estates and Crystl Ranch secluded areas, there are Virginia Lane/Driftwood apartments/Bel Air Commercial to balance out the mean “city” value. If you look at city landscaping and signage throughout, you can see where the focus is.. Its really that black and white.

How has the City Manager and council managed its homeless, gangs, and section 8 “zones”? If you look at Laguna/Ellis, Willow Pass, Solano, Olivera, 4 corners, Meadow Lane, and Clayton/Treat, you don’t see positive change over the last 5-10 years, and this is WITH redevelopment agencies in place! This tells me that the funding decisions being made are focusing on the upper crust of the city limits when the encroachment of problems from the bottom areas are being “attended to” whenever convenient. This is not how successful cities work in this new economy.

Vote in new city council members to help Edi turn the tide. Vote no for Q as this will force the council to take meaningful actions to trim fat in-house and focus Concord on a new path to boost business creation, shopping zones, and upscale development that will boost our tax base for years to come.

BFF Out!

21 jtkatec July 7, 2014 at 12:35 PM

…”help close the city’s $5M budget deficit..”

Didn’t it work?

22 SKS July 7, 2014 at 12:35 PM

Concord’s so-called “leadership” and voters should consider ending the practice of lifetime medical benefits for its executive management.

23 chuckie the troll July 7, 2014 at 1:08 PM

“Temporary” taxes are like zombies. They are very hard to kill.

The promises of the past become the lies of the present.

24 ..... July 7, 2014 at 1:09 PM

Agree completely w/ bagsflyfree #20 and others…..

We need to replace the existing city council with ones who can make the HARD choices…..those choices that represent what city government really SHOULD be providing.

Nice-to-haves are another thing….. they need to be addressed separately.

25 Concord Guy July 7, 2014 at 1:23 PM

Why didn’t they start planning for this “loss of funds” in 2010? Were they so intoxicated with the cash flow when it started that they couldn’t do their jobs to plan for the day when the “temporary” fix stopped?? SMH

26 WOW July 7, 2014 at 1:27 PM

“Concord is a place where people want to live and raise their families.” Hey Valerie, is that why you live in Walnut Creek? Good thing YOUR Walnut Creek City Council will not be considering a tax increase on YOU! Live in WC get lower taxes, work in Concord get life time medical – you have OFFICIALLY worked the system girlfriend! Congrats!

27 Remember this city council July 7, 2014 at 1:39 PM

4 to 1 voted to give the police a raise and now they want Q again. Clue here is quit giving raises!

28 We need to pass Measure Q July 7, 2014 at 1:48 PM

Edi was wrong before, and he’s wrong now. Our city needs to be commended for getting us through a very tough time.

We need to avoid becoming Oakland, Stockton. or Vallejo.

Have any of you who are against Measure Q read the reports or attended city counsel meetings?

The idiots at the state, county and federal levels are going to continue to make our lives tougher. We need to bring more money back to the local level, rather than having it drained by higher-level corrupt politicians, who are only accountable to special interest groups.

29 Killjoy July 7, 2014 at 1:52 PM

I said it from the beginning that they would find a way to not let the “temporary” tax expire.
Time to clean house and get rid of all the career politicians. Take their “lifetime” benefits away too!

30 Circling the drain July 7, 2014 at 2:07 PM

Woah, this is really the last straw.
Tenatative move-in date (anywhere but Concord, maybe even California):
January 1st 2015.
I hear some parts of Nevada, ain’t too bad. The weather in northern New Mexico is nice, I’ve heard too.
Those other places may be alittle less progressive socially or culturally but they coulnd’t be ran any less crummy as this dump.
It not so much the influx of (diverse) people that are making Concord their home, it’s the response from the local government to the problems that pop up. The homeless come to mind.
Concord was a great place to live, grow up, raise kids… but no longer. Cya Concord.

31 Buster July 7, 2014 at 2:20 PM

How many of you are just shooting from the hip?
Edi voted for extending measure at a recent meeting as did all of the Council.
I don’t like the tax but I do think its needed. And to tell
the truth its that much money out of my pocket. Shoppers
coming to Concord from other cites are paying us too. :-)
Yes on extending it for 5 more years (10 total) but no more then that.

32 TaxMeMore July 7, 2014 at 3:26 PM

If the City of Concord can clean up the undesirables and the inherent issues of that type of demographic, then I am more than willing to pay much higher taxes.

Lets do some ‘cleansing’ folks.

33 I support Edi! July 7, 2014 at 3:36 PM

I certainly support Edi in his efforts to extend Measure Q! We need a strong viable police force in this city! Homelessness is rampant, burglaries and drugs are taking over and the gangs seem to have found pleasure in SHOOTING at each other on a regular basis! Oh, how about the increase in prostitution in the city?

34 BagsFlyFree July 7, 2014 at 3:57 PM

@ Buster… When budgets are managed in a way that have a “focus” we’ll call it, they can make the numbers tilt towards the agenda they are in favor of …Extending Q is this agenda.. Knowing this money would dry up this year, the council should have looked elsewhere the last 4 years to trim fat to not have to come to a situation like today where we are fumbling for dollars and have negative projections for safety services. Whoever was on the council in 2010 is now up for re-election for a job they didn’t do well on. Fire the employee and hire someone who can work with the piggybank they are handed.

No on Q!

BFF Out!

RANT BELOW – Hopefully a city council candidate can chalk these examples down to use against the Hoffa-meisters, Ronny the Retirement Benefit Leone, Valerie the Vampire Barone, and Tim the “Tool Man” Grayson.

Example of mitigating recurring expenses with city investment below..

We have crappy streetlights in Concord.. They are spotlights that do not properly disperse light, and breed criminal behavior (perps like to remain unseen). The cost of replacing the city wide network of these crappy Chinese bulbs would cost what would be 2-3 officers that CPD requests to cover night patrols based off crime data and city polling. The city could effectively help CPD in this scenario by investing money installing the lights, and would then not have to support the full salary demads from CPD based off projected savings in reduced crime and car accidents (think of how many officers are at any given accident). Everyone wins!

The same scenario goes for water reduction… Modify the parks before a drought to have less greenspace and replace with xeriscape, sports courts or play structures that do not require watering. Everyone wins!

Road maintenance can be tackled by creating disincentives for large diesels or courier trucks to pass through our residential roads. UPS trucks are constantly buzzing down Olivera (main distribution office on Olivera), where a more durable route could be Port Chicago where the road bed is better laid down (or designed to be “heavy use”). Less construction needs, less noise in residential areas, better roads for all… Everyone wins!

No on Q!

BFF Really Out!

35 Old Guy July 7, 2014 at 3:57 PM

City Council members are elected to solve the problem of the city. This is a problem . . . a “temporary tax is about to expire”.
Where were these protectors of our city the past few years? They knew that this tax was temporary and that they needed to find a way to cut the budget, reduce expenses and live within their means.
I am sure that they will want to introduce another tax, or to extend this tax . . .BUT they better find a way to do the job with reduced income. The citizens of this City, County. State and Nation are already taxed enough.
Any councilman who votes for extending this tax will not get my vote.

36 NoMoreFreeRide July 7, 2014 at 6:34 PM

“Gang Prevention Measures” Forgive me while I laugh. How many gangs did Concord have before the influx of Hispanics? Not trying to point the finger just pointing out facts. How many drive-by’s in Crystyl Ranch??

37 Atticus Thraxx July 7, 2014 at 7:20 PM

# 28 while I have empathy with the councilpersons trying to find revenue sources, the purpose of the tax, like the problem it was to solve, was temporary. The effort will be in how to keep it going without involving the voters who thought they were voting on a temporary tax in 2010, right? I can read between the lines.
In fact across the board I’m not supporting or voting for any tax extensions, increase, new tax, tax reform or bond measures until somebody STARTS FIXING THE F****ING ROADS!
Pardon my French.

38 JustMe July 7, 2014 at 7:59 PM

Maybe Concord wants to give more of those huge one-time bonuses to those that are retiring in the city.

39 Concord Mike July 7, 2014 at 8:16 PM

I’ll vote for measure Q but not for an extension beyond another 5 years.

My two priorities for the money: Fix the roads, enforce the codes.

40 Concord July 7, 2014 at 9:29 PM

Owe, I’m sure Seeno is using all those funds for his developments with three Council members in his pocket.

41 Charlie July 7, 2014 at 9:37 PM

Look at how much crime in Concord has skyrocketed in the past few years. It appears the burglars, gang bangers and tweekers are running loose and getting more and more brazen. Also it seems like the city is experiencing I creasing traffic fatalities! Imagine if even more police services are cut! I support extending Q for five more years but that is it!

42 BagsFlyFree July 8, 2014 at 9:30 AM

@ Charlie The increase in crime is due to the lack of city investment near residential multi family and commercial shopping zones. When rents can’t command a certain price threshold, “anybody” moves in.. The “anybody’s” are the burglars, gang bangers, and tweakers. The police can only tag them and release. Concord needs to tax/fine apt complex owners who do not provide adequate maintenance or enhancements over 10-20 year periods. Code violations are rampant in Concord, and they are not being adequately enforced in many areas.

BFF Out!

43 Pablo July 8, 2014 at 2:38 PM

I’ve never seen so many pot holes in Concord. Money poorly spent.

44 Killjoy July 8, 2014 at 7:43 PM

Anybody ever drive down Farm Bureau Road? That one needs to be replaced. Not just repaired. Rip it all out, and put in a new one. First.

45 Jim July 8, 2014 at 9:00 PM

A “temporary tax” in Calexico is like saying we will deport people who come here illegally….just a big fat lie!

46 RunDogRun July 9, 2014 at 10:26 AM

They’ll learn to live with the
loss of funds just like the rest of
us did.

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