Wednesday, July 25, 2012
Let's Ask the Citizenry for More Money
The synergy was too stark to ignore. One day after the San Mateo County Civil Grand Jury warned that the county's public employee pension and retiree health insurance benefits were too rich and should be trimmed back to a more reasonable level, the Board of Supervisors Tuesday voted, 4-1, to ask the voters to increase the county sales tax by a half-cent in November. Dave Pine voted against the proposal. He was the sole negative voice on the board. He preferred to go for a quarter-cent hike in tough times. While the board majority spoke earnestly of the public programs in need of a cash infusion from the taxpayers, they tended to avoid the obvious: The worrisome analysis provided by the Civil Grand Jury the day before. In essence, then, what the board majority wants to do is to secure fresh funding from the taxpayers to support, in part, those impressive pensions and retiree health insurance packages that are draining money away from ongoing public welfare programs and other county efforts. It's a subject few board members want to discuss at a time of stressed budgets and ongoing deficits. The election will be held in just over three short months. There will be a blizzard of proposed tax increases on the ballot. Lots of luck.