Oxnard’s Rapidly Coming New Tax Triple Whammy- $77 Million+!

 

 

If there was ever a time to speak out on city direction- it is right NOW.

Deficit-prone Oxnard has borrowed and borrowed and made some cuts to balance the budget in the past, often restoring the cuts later. Its overspending and poor management were catching up with it already. Then the COVID-19 lockdown hit, draining millions in tax revenues from hotel occupancy, sales, business licenses, development taxes and fees. Probably the enterprise funds for water, wastewater and environmental (trash) will be hurting too, because of people who are unable to pay their bills.

So, now it appears that Oxnard intends to solve the problem(s) by taxing and borrowing, plotting an enormous revenue trifecta, to bring about $77 million (seems like a lot more than the deficit) into the general fund via:

  1. Borrowing $30 million from enterprise funds– $10 million each from Water, Wastewater and Environmental Resource funds.
  2. Levying a additional $2.3 million public safety pensions tax on real estate (the so-called “Carman Override”), bringing the total to $15.5 million, which will affect not only property owners, but tenants, too.”for every $100,000 in assessed value, a property owner will pay $70.67 compared to $60.18  in FY 2019-20.” This means about $350-400 for the average home of $500-600,000 value, in addition to all other taxes already being paid.
  3. Jacking up the sales tax another 1 1/2% above the existing “Measure O” 1/2% add-on and base state tax rate, to raise another $45 million.

When we first started covering the Oxnard Council 7 years ago, the General Fund was about $100 million. But, the numbers have gone way up:

In addition, utility rates have been raised radically in recent years, with more coming, while state taxes are over the top. The state seizes a large share of local sales tax and real estate tax money, too. On top of all these are supplemental property taxes for school bonds and various administrative districts for landscaping, waterway maintenance, etc.

The city was already stealth planning a whopping 1 1/2% sales tax increase, which they sneaked onto the 10-15-19 council meeting by conveniently not even mentioning it on the agenda and burying it deep in a 700 page agenda supplement. It appears that they are laying the groundwork to put it on the November ballot.

At least the City Manager has been hacking away at financial black holes like the Performing Arts Center (outsourced now), Carnegie Museum (closed) and golf course (restructured, new operator).

But the City Manager and Housing Director are also proposing a new $34 million (you read that right) “navigation center” (a homeless shelter with services), with at least an additional $2 million operating budget. Public safety costs are going through the roof with seemingly no plan to check them. Major systems upgrades (badly needed) will cost millions more. We are told there is no more money for roads, even with huge new state taxes supposedly done for that.

While you may not regard the $30 million loan from the enterprise fund as a “tax,” just how do you think it can ever be repaid?

I hate to tell you this, Citizens, but no one on the Council has demonstrated any real desire to manage spending nor hold staff truly accountable for that, other than the seemingly annual fire drill to make emergency cuts and borrow more money. Almost everyone votes for any spending proposed. Please speak up at meetings, write letters, hold meetings, townhalls, debates and vote more judiciously than you (or most of you) have been,  this November.

Oxnard City Council Prepares to Enact Property Tax Assessment

Oxnard City Council Prepares to Enact Property Tax Assessment

DATE:             June 2, 2020 TO:                  City Council FROM:            Kevin Riper, Chief Financial Officer, (805) 385-7475, [email protected] SUBJECT:      Public Safety Property Tax Assessment FY 2020-21. RECOMMENDATION  That the City Council adopts a resolution establishing the FY 2020-21 tax rates on property in the City of Oxnard for the payment of voter-approved obligations related to public safety […]

Oxnard Proposes HUGE Sales Tax Increase, Buries Deep in 10-15-19 Agenda

Oxnard Proposes HUGE Sales Tax Increase, Buries Deep in 10-15-19 Agenda

    By George Miller Oxnard is now trying to solve years of fiscal mismanagement, poor negotiations and spending control with a huge $45 MILLION dollar annual sales tax increase. Without any warning and burying it deep in supplemental agenda materials, the Council/staff are attempting to wash away all the City’s financial problems with a […]


George Miller is Publisher/Co-Founder of CitizensJournal.us and a “retired” operations management consultant residing in Oxnard.


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7 Responses to Oxnard’s Rapidly Coming New Tax Triple Whammy- $77 Million+!

  1. Tom June 16, 2020 at 5:46 pm

    In 2008 the City argued that the sales tax rate in Oxnard was the lowest in the state. That is not true today.

    Today, at a rate of 7.75%, 318 incorporated cites have a higher rate; 45 cities a lower rate and 123 cities the same 7.75% rate.

    With an increase to 9.25%, 106 cities will have a higher rate, 340 cities a lower rate and 40 cities with the same 9.25% rate.

    Reply
  2. Eva June 4, 2020 at 3:14 pm

    And this is why people are closing their business and moving out of state.

    Reply
  3. Kevin Williams June 3, 2020 at 9:08 pm

    All any new sales taxes will do is force folks to shop somewhere else that has lower sales tax…

    Reply
  4. AL VELASQUEZ SR June 3, 2020 at 4:02 pm

    TRUTH AND FACTS,
    THE CITY OF OXNARD HAS A SHORTAGE OF FUNDS FOR THE FOLLOWING REASONS.
    1. THE OXNARD POLICE OFFICERS HAVE BEEN PAID THE FOLLOWING SALARIES AND BENEFITS FOR ONE YEAR. EXAMPLES, $ 390.300.00 DOLLARS, $ 355.531.00 DOLLARS, $ 340.190.00 DOLLARS, $ 329.968.00 DOLLARS, $ 313.146.00 DOLLARS, $ 309.504.00, $ 301.057.00 DOLLARS. THEIR IS OVER A DOZEN OXNARD POLICE OFFICERS WHO HAVE BEEN PAID OVER $ 250.000.00 DOLLAR IN SALARIES AND BENEFITS FOR ONE YEAR. THE OXNARD CITY ATTORNEY WAS PAID $ 337.939.00 DOLLARS IN SALARY AND BENEFITS FOR ONE YEAR., THE RECENT OXNARD CITY MANAGER IS PAID IN EXCESS OF $ 320.000.00 DOLLARS A YEAR. THIS IS JUST A SMALL EXAMPLE OF WHAT I CONSIDER EXCESSIVE SALARY WHICH PUTS A HUGE FINANCIAL DRAIN IN THE CITIES. GENERAL FUND. ONE OTHER EXAMPLE IS, THE CITY COUNCILMEMBERS VOTED TO SPEND MILLIONS OF DOLLAR IN LITIGATION FEE’S TO STOP NRG FROM KNOCKING DOWN THE OLD EDISON PLANT ON HARBOR BLVD AND REPLACING WITH A NEW PLANT ONE THIRD THE SIZE OF THE OLD ONE AND IN RETURN WOULD HAVE GIVEN THE CITY OF OXNARD APPROXIMATELY 2.5 MILLION DOLLARS IN REVENUE AND FEE FOR 25 YEARS. THEY FAILED TO REACH AN AGREEMENT WITH AMAZON TO BUILD AND ESTABLISH A DISTRIBUTION CENTER ON RICE ROAD WHICH WOULD POSSIBLY GIVEN THE CITY MILLIONS OF DOLLARS IN SALES REVENUE AND FEE’S ANNUALLY. I COULD GO ON WITH EXAMPLES AS TO WHY THE CITY OF OXNARD IS IN DIRE NEED OF REVENUE BUT I WILL END THERE TILL ANOTHER . ALL THE SALARIES I QUOTED ARE ALL DOCUMENTED AND NOT MY OPINION.
    RESPECTFULLY,
    AL VELASQUEZ SR
    6TH GENERATION CALIFORNIAN AMERICAN

    Reply
  5. Suzyq June 3, 2020 at 11:27 am

    Oxnard is a great place to live.And understandably a great place for the homeless to hang out.But why build structures for people who are vagabonds.Give them a food allowance instead.And offer public housing assistance for them in the form of vouchers.But don.t give homeowners increased property tax.utility costs are too high right now as it is.

    Reply
  6. James June 3, 2020 at 10:11 am

    Jacking up sales tax to raise $45M while looking at spending $34M (plus AT LEAST $2M annual operating costs) to provide a homeless shelter with services is unconscionable. Much of a sales tax increase falls on the backs of those who can least afford it. So, maybe we have 300 homeless (many of whom are bums and junkies) in Oxnard. That is over $100,000 per person, plus annual operating costs. Offer each of them $1,000 to move elsewhere and save over $30M.
    Public safety expenses are way too high. Take a look at Transparent California’s ( https://transparentcalifornia.com/salaries/oxnard/ ) list of the salaries being paid for government in Oxnard. There are many individuals in the public safety sector (I counted 36 making close to $400K per year). Of these very high earners are individuals that I would consider to be management-level (e.g. fire battalion chiefs and fire captains) making $78K, $95K and $106K each, in overtime pay alone. What’s with overtime pay for people at the command level? That is not all. There are more fire personnel making over $100K per year in overtime alone. How three fire inspectors, each making from $111K to $153K in overtime ALONE? What kind of management is this?
    Then we have had the practice of pension spiking which is so common in California and has led too out-of-control pension costs.
    Years ago, it was accepted that those in the Public sector were paid less than those in the Private sector because those in the Public sector could retire much earlier and with retirement benefits exceeding those of the Private sector. Somewhere along the way, that changed so that now, positions in the Public sector are by far the most lucrative. But we have failed to recognize that this inequality if paid for by a continual creep in our taxes and the cost of services provided.
    As conscientious consumers of these services, we need to question why they are costing us so much.
    And we need to learn how to say ‘no’ when asked for increases.

    Reply
  7. Joe June 2, 2020 at 6:46 pm

    It is absolutely ridiculous! They should pay us to live there! The place is full of crime, gangs, vagrants, overgrown weeds, Does anyone really want to shop there? I think they want to drive the homeowners out of there so they get a new, updated property tax amount from the new homeowner! Give every single vagrant a bus ticket out of the city just like other cities do! Get tough on crime and sell off some property instead of charging the ta part for decisions that the taxpayer can’t control!

    Reply

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