Author Topic: 4 Reasons to VOTE NO on Mayor Curry's Tax Proposal  (Read 17857 times)

tufsu1

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Re: 4 Reasons to VOTE NO on Mayor Curry's Tax Proposal
« Reply #30 on: June 23, 2016, 10:45:38 AM »
The current millage rate for the city (11.4419) is already higher than it was at any point during John Peyton's term. Peyton ended up having to raise taxes during the Great Recession to a point higher than the cuts he made. They went up again under Alvin Brown. In fact, the current rate is higher than it's been since at least 1994.

curious...how does our current rate compare with that of other large cities/counties in Florida?

spuwho

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Re: 4 Reasons to VOTE NO on Mayor Curry's Tax Proposal
« Reply #31 on: June 23, 2016, 11:01:50 AM »
The current millage rate for the city (11.4419) is already higher than it was at any point during John Peyton's term. Peyton ended up having to raise taxes during the Great Recession to a point higher than the cuts he made. They went up again under Alvin Brown. In fact, the current rate is higher than it's been since at least 1994.

curious...how does our current rate compare with that of other large cities/counties in Florida?

https://wallethub.com/edu/states-with-the-highest-and-lowest-property-taxes/11585/

http://www.floridaforboomers.com/10-highest-and-lowest-florida-county-property-tax-rates/

10 Florida Counties With the LOWEST Property Tax Rates (2013)

Walton – 9.7536
Monroe – 10.1257
Collier – 11.7923
Bay – 12.1271
Franklin – 12.9457
Okaloosa – 13.4039
Sumter – 13.5546
Santa Rosa – 14.4789
Jackson – 14.5345
Sarasota – 14.5627

10 Florida Counties With the HIGHEST Property Tax Rates

Alachua – 23.442
Volusia – 23.2216
St. Lucie – 22.7249
Dixie – 21.9206
Broward – 21.0593
Pinellas – 21.0416
Hendry – 20.8776
Hillsborough – 20.7007
Palm Beach – 20.5622
Miami-Dade – 20.1139

Tacachale

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Re: 4 Reasons to VOTE NO on Mayor Curry's Tax Proposal
« Reply #32 on: June 23, 2016, 11:16:20 AM »
The current millage rate for the city (11.4419) is already higher than it was at any point during John Peyton's term. Peyton ended up having to raise taxes during the Great Recession to a point higher than the cuts he made. They went up again under Alvin Brown. In fact, the current rate is higher than it's been since at least 1994.

curious...how does our current rate compare with that of other large cities/counties in Florida?

https://wallethub.com/edu/states-with-the-highest-and-lowest-property-taxes/11585/

http://www.floridaforboomers.com/10-highest-and-lowest-florida-county-property-tax-rates/

10 Florida Counties With the LOWEST Property Tax Rates (2013)

Walton – 9.7536
Monroe – 10.1257
Collier – 11.7923
Bay – 12.1271
Franklin – 12.9457
Okaloosa – 13.4039
Sumter – 13.5546
Santa Rosa – 14.4789
Jackson – 14.5345
Sarasota – 14.5627

10 Florida Counties With the HIGHEST Property Tax Rates

Alachua – 23.442
Volusia – 23.2216
St. Lucie – 22.7249
Dixie – 21.9206
Broward – 21.0593
Pinellas – 21.0416
Hendry – 20.8776
Hillsborough – 20.7007
Palm Beach – 20.5622
Miami-Dade – 20.1139

It depends how you parse it, as different counties break up the total in different ways. But, for example, the millage rate in the City of Tampa is 20.7932 and unincorporated Hillsborough is 19.461, compared to Duval County's total of 18.8932 outside the Beaches and Baldwin. However, Tampa has less of that rate going directly to the City of Tampa budget (only 5.7326 compared to our 11.4419), as the County government also gets a cut and a bunch of authorities (library, port, etc) have their own separate budgets. In the final analysis, Tampanians pay nearly 2 mills higher, and suburbanites pay half a mill higher, than we do in Jax.

http://www.hcpafl.org/Portals/HCPAFL/pdfs/2015FinalMillage.pdf
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Noone

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Re: 4 Reasons to VOTE NO on Mayor Curry's Tax Proposal
« Reply #33 on: June 23, 2016, 11:18:07 AM »
The current millage rate for the city (11.4419) is already higher than it was at any point during John Peyton's term. Peyton ended up having to raise taxes during the Great Recession to a point higher than the cuts he made. They went up again under Alvin Brown. In fact, the current rate is higher than it's been since at least 1994.

curious...how does our current rate compare with that of other large cities/counties in Florida?

https://wallethub.com/edu/states-with-the-highest-and-lowest-property-taxes/11585/

http://www.floridaforboomers.com/10-highest-and-lowest-florida-county-property-tax-rates/

10 Florida Counties With the LOWEST Property Tax Rates (2013)

Walton – 9.7536
Monroe – 10.1257
Collier – 11.7923
Bay – 12.1271
Franklin – 12.9457
Okaloosa – 13.4039
Sumter – 13.5546
Santa Rosa – 14.4789
Jackson – 14.5345
Sarasota – 14.5627

10 Florida Counties With the HIGHEST Property Tax Rates

Alachua – 23.442
Volusia – 23.2216
St. Lucie – 22.7249
Dixie – 21.9206
Broward – 21.0593
Pinellas – 21.0416
Hendry – 20.8776
Hillsborough – 20.7007
Palm Beach – 20.5622
Miami-Dade – 20.1139

What other counties in the state of Florida have passed 2005-1007?

Non-RedNeck Westsider

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Re: 4 Reasons to VOTE NO on Mayor Curry's Tax Proposal
« Reply #34 on: June 23, 2016, 11:50:31 AM »
The more I reflect on this issue the more I see us (the city) repeating the same mistakes over and over and over.  Pardon the overused baseball analogy, but we keep looking for a home-run and just keep taking pitches until the perfect one comes... that's great, but if you swing and miss at that perfect pitch, you're back at square one.

Since this mayors are so averse to 'tax increases' why not come up with a proposal that includes a modest tax increase to homeowners in the .8-1.3 mil range (~$50M).  Try to pass at referendum a brand new sales tax altogether of .5% (~$60M) that is tied to the PFPPF and kick in next FY, and then add a flat fee (not a tax) to [using this as a for instance.  I don't know if it's even possible] JEA services at $2.50 per month for each water and electric (~$22M).  And then reinstate the mobility plan back in full force and allow it to fund the things it's designed to do.  For god's sake, the national economy drives business, not whether or not local impact fees are collected.

This is a whole lot to put to people in one shot, so create a fucking plan and install it in stages and quit trying to be the mighty Casey.  (Sorry, baseball again) Because as many home runs he hit, he's best known for striking out.

That's an interesting idea. The idea of sales tax implemented now (as opposed to when BJP expires) was explored, but wasn't considered viable. It would have had to go to the Legislature and Governor just like the current proposal, and Curry has said it wouldn't have made it through. But a more modest property tax hike couldn't be made along with the 2030 sales tax plan, which would probably go a long way to putting revenue back in the budget. However, I wouldn't expect to see that any time soon; Jax voters have a pretty notorious anti-tax streak.

The voters are 'tax averse' IMO because campaigns are run leading people to believe that everything is hunky-dorie, they just need a leader to tighten the belt and fix it.  The reality is that there has been too much belt-tightening at the wrong times and too much free-spending at the wrong times, that what the city needs is a reality check.  Bill Bishop was the only candidate that had that message this past EC and Audrey Moran the time before.  Both were soundly beaten because of their opponents' Builder Bob message, "Can we fix it?  Yes we can!  And we'll do it because your last mayor sucked and ran the office without the astute business sense / ability to bring the public sector together with the private sector experience that I bring to the table" from the winning candidates.

We're down the road now.  It's time to quit kicking the can.  The economy is improving and we (the public) can afford a small incremental increase over a few years to solve the problem now rather than sit on our hands and plan on having this conversation again in 15 years.  If they can approve a tax extension, then they surely can generate the support for a slight tax increase if they sold it as hard, but that's the problem with politics:  Even though it's the right thing to do, it doesn't personally help your situation.
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Tacachale

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Re: 4 Reasons to VOTE NO on Mayor Curry's Tax Proposal
« Reply #35 on: June 23, 2016, 12:51:35 PM »
Tacachale, with all due respect, many of these assertions are simply not “reasonable”.

Some seem disingenuous.  I assume they are from the marketeers of this plan as I know you to be a pretty straight shooter, but the $260 million number you cite – the City’s total pension payment for Fiscal Year 2016, for all three pension plans -- is already covered through the general fund under the current millage rate. Your proposed 30% increase has nothing to do with meeting pension obligations and would simply add another $163 million in budget capacity.  While the extra money would be useful for things like parks and downtown, is it reasonable to claim this amount for the Pension?


On the figures I'm referring to are the ones that have been reported in the media. If the media is reporting false figures, that's a much bigger problem than this proposal.

As for the budget capacity, I think you're misunderstanding me a bit. Yes, the City is able to pay the current pension costs from the general fund. But it's a HUGE drain on the general budget, and most of it is just debt that has accumulated since the pension was last funded in 2003. I don't think anyone could seriously argue that it's not. It's also getting bigger and so will be even more of a strain.

I don't know what the city was paying into the pension back in 2003, but I'm pretty sure it was well under $100 million. However you slice the numbers, we're paying considerably more than that now just on debt. Some amount will always have to come from the general budget; it's the rest of what we owe now that's causing the strain. To get out from under it, we need more revenue to bridge the gap, and ultimately start shrinking the deby. I'm not sure what the number is that will help, but the gap is pretty considerable, especially if it contractually has to rise by tens of millions of dollars over the next few years. The fix can be done with either a sales tax or a millage tax. Both have upsides and downsides, which is really what we should be debating.


Or these fatuous claims repeatedly citing a 30% ($163 million) millage increase as the necessary equivalent if the pension sales tax is defeated.

In current year dollars, a half-cent sales tax generates around $60-$65 million annually. These pension sales tax revenues won’t be available until 2030. Is it reasonable to believe that $163 million in additional yearly revenue now is the same as $70 million in additional yearly revenue 14 years from now?


30% is what Curry has said. Again, I don't know what the number would be, but that one definitely doesn't sound beyond the pale, considering that the gap in the budget is well above that amount. The goal of any option is getting to the nut of the debt while reducing the strain on the budget enough that we can actually pay for the things we need and want, many of which have already suffered drastic cuts since the Recession.

Even $70 million in sales tax, if that's what it is, is well above 1 mill's worth of property tax revenue. And all of that $70 million would be tied to the pension, plus what ever else we pay year to year. That can't be done with property tax, as it's a year-to-year decision.


Or the claim that:  “a property tax hike….would hit citizens in the wallet harder than the sales tax will.” Maybe if you live in Atlantic Beach or some of the southside hoity toity neighborhoods,  but the majority of people in the city dont live in homes that owe more in property taxes than the sales taxes on their yearly budget.  You know...that whole regressive sales tax thing and all... ;)

Do you think lower-income citizens would find that statement about a regressive sales tax reasonable?


What I mean here is that the sales tax rate will remain the same (7%) from 2029 to 2030; people won't be paying any more one year to the next. A property tax of any size would increase the rate above the current rate. That's how'd they'd feel it.

One of the downsides of any sales tax is that's it's seen as regressive (or rather proportional) and affects the poor more than the rich. However, it also has the ability to pass some of the burden onto the surrounding counties, visitors and tourists who buy things here. Property tax affects only people who live and/or own property in Duval. There are pluses and minuses to either option.

Finally, you question the .68 millage increase idea by saying “there's nothing stopping future mayors and councils from re-appropriating the money to other things.”

Really? Correct me if Im wrong, but The City has an enacted agreement with the Police and Fire Pension Fund, which the Fund would no doubt seek to enforce in court if the City fails to make its additional pension payments.  Because: obviously?

Beyond that, Council could absolutely lock itself in by borrowing money to make the additional pension payments on an up-front, net present value basis. The City would be required to make debt service payments each year – and the additional .68 millage revenue would be the funding source.

Regrettably the most “reasonable” solution is the one outlined in the 2015 agreement – with the City and the Fund paying additional money over the next decade to bring the fund to a rationally funded condition ASAP. 


The problem with any property tax increase - not specifically the one you're talking about - is that future mayors and councils can decide not to earmark the revenue for the pension, take holidays on the payments, etc. They can also screw around with it in some other ways. That's a major factor in how the mess got so bad in the first place. We took holidays when we shouldn't have, added additional benefits without adding revenue to pay for it, and then were too slow to deal with the problem after the Recession. I see no reason to think the same thing won't happen again.


You said it yourself in a rather reasonable statement,

“paying up front would save in the long run as debt is paid down sooner.”

Not sure what is opaque about that?

Nothing is opaque about it, and that's the major strength of the property tax. It's the only thing we could pull off today. I, personally, don't think the strengths outweighs the other weaknesses I've mentioned. I'm in the camp that the sales tax proposal is the "least bad" of the options.
Do you believe that when the blue jay or another bird sings and the body is trembling, that is a signal that people are coming or something important is about to happen?

Sunbeam

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Re: 4 Reasons to VOTE NO on Mayor Curry's Tax Proposal
« Reply #36 on: June 27, 2016, 12:58:34 PM »
So many questions with no answers with the attitude of just "vote yes" THEN the city will create legislation, THEN the city will start negotiating with the unions, then we'll see what money can be saved, if any, THEN we'll see what promises the mayor will give unions, THEN, THEN, THEN, etc, etc, etc.

NO!!!

Ask---WHY hasnt the mayor started union negotiations already?  WHY isnt the mayor conducting union negotiation NOW?

There are alarms going off everywhere surrounding this issue and Public Trust from past behavior by city politicians is zero and this issue is screaming the same behavior all over again.

http://www.just-vote-no.com/

TheCat

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Re: 4 Reasons to VOTE NO on Mayor Curry's Tax Proposal
« Reply #37 on: June 27, 2016, 10:47:51 PM »
Let's spell out our questions.

I'd like to round up the questions that can't be answered amongst ourselves for the mayor and the city council to answer. 

My three off the cuff questions:

1. What is the net cost of Curry's approach?
2. How much additional debt are we creating?
3. What do our annual payments look from 2045 - 2060

TheCat

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strider

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Re: 4 Reasons to VOTE NO on Mayor Curry's Tax Proposal
« Reply #39 on: June 28, 2016, 07:47:38 AM »
Quote
other “key benefits” are the city would close the existing pension plans to new hires and put them in retirement plans that “reflect current market practices.” The city would negotiate with the unions on plans for new hires, which could range from pension plans to 401(k) style plans.

Another piece of the reform involves all employees to pay 10 percent of their paychecks for their pension benefits, up from 8 percent now.

Are the above "key benefits" cast in stone or up in the air dependent upon the whims of the unions and the City in some future negotiation?
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whyisjohngalt

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Re: 4 Reasons to VOTE NO on Mayor Curry's Tax Proposal
« Reply #40 on: June 29, 2016, 01:11:44 AM »
Even communities like Detroit and Birmingham, that have actually filed for bankruptcy, are still seeing heavy reinvestment in their downtown cores.

Why is bankruptcy off the table for the city?  We're being held hostage by the debt and promises of the past without any budging on their side to negotiate reasonably.  Everyone I know had their 401(k)'s and retirement plans destroyed around and after 2008.  Why should "public servants" be immune to economic conditions that affect everyone else?  If not, then bankruptcy and starting over is a better solution otherwise we'll be having the same discussions in 15 years anyways.

Or better yet, don't file bankruptcy and quit paying them akin to foreclosure.  Deals go south all the time and just because the deal was by "the city" didn't make it bulletproof.  At this point, it's pretty obvious that mistakes were made on micro and macro levels that made the city's pension promises deliverable.

mtraininjax

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Re: 4 Reasons to VOTE NO on Mayor Curry's Tax Proposal
« Reply #41 on: June 29, 2016, 02:49:12 AM »
I say we raid JEA for 400 million, destroy their bond rating AND raise property taxes 30%.....sounds like a great Plan B.

Traffic will be much lighter on I-95 and I-10......as the tumbleweeds roll in.
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TheCat

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Re: 4 Reasons to VOTE NO on Mayor Curry's Tax Proposal
« Reply #42 on: June 30, 2016, 10:56:24 AM »
The new report does not make Curry's plan look any better. It's worst than I thought.

Report Summary Here:

http://pdfsr.com/pdf/summary-milliman-report-6-28-16.pdf

Full Report:

http://pdfsr.com/pdf/coj-actuarial-curryplan-june2016.pdf
Modify message



This chart shows our annual payments for all three pensions. The purple line is Curry's sales tax plan. The question is, in what year will we have to "refinance" the pension again. I'm putting my money on 2035.

Just to reiterate, the city still has to find a way to pay $300 million for the next 15 years. Even when the sales tax kicks in, the general budget is still on the hook for hundreds of millions of dollars annually.

« Last Edit: June 30, 2016, 11:49:55 AM by TheCat »

mtraininjax

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Re: 4 Reasons to VOTE NO on Mayor Curry's Tax Proposal
« Reply #43 on: June 30, 2016, 12:12:52 PM »
Time to bend over and take the shaft of a property tax hike. Its coming, Mousa and Stewart know how to get the "fee" passed to make it look like something we need, but which is a tax. This way Curry cannot say he created a new tax.

City cannot operate without new revenue and property values are not enough. Time to grab the ankles!
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Tacachale

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Re: 4 Reasons to VOTE NO on Mayor Curry's Tax Proposal
« Reply #44 on: June 30, 2016, 12:54:51 PM »
The new report does not make Curry's plan look any better. It's worst than I thought.

Report Summary Here:

http://pdfsr.com/pdf/summary-milliman-report-6-28-16.pdf

Full Report:

http://pdfsr.com/pdf/coj-actuarial-curryplan-june2016.pdf
Modify message



This chart shows our annual payments for all three pensions. The purple line is Curry's sales tax plan. The question is, in what year will we have to "refinance" the pension again. I'm putting my money on 2035.

Just to reiterate, the city still has to find a way to pay $300 million for the next 15 years. Even when the sales tax kicks in, the general budget is still on the hook for hundreds of millions of dollars annually.

The Jacksonville Business Journal talked a bit about this (which I found after discussing this issue with Arash last night).

http://www.bizjournals.com/jacksonville/blog/morning-edition/2016/06/report-currys-pension-plan-could-save-jacksonville.html

The chart is for the pension obligation only; it doesn't include the sales tax money. By the time the obligation starts rising again in 2030, the sales tax money will kick in. That would even out the amount that's coming from the city's general budget (which would still be at $300 million a year.)

I'm still in favor of this proposal as without it, the full obligation will have to come from the general budget, and that amount will shoot up well over $300 million a year and will stay there until about 2039. And that's if they don't take any more holidays, which can't be done with the sales tax.

For those who don't like the plan, it's time to think about what the alternatives are. That's a property tax, serious cuts, or some combination of the three solutions. I don't accept that cuts are feasible considering our level of service now, and would like to hear some real estimates on how much property tax will be required to get out from under this mess. I expect it ain't gonna be pretty for us property owners.
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