When accountability for tax revenue expenditures is lacking, corruption and misuse of funds will abound. The temptation is just too great to resist…
This is what’s happening in your city right now. It’s happening within local city governments across the nation.
Let me explain…
City, county and state government officials will often propose new tax measures, constitutional or city charter amendments, or new regulations that require approval by a majority of voters. These measures will be placed on the ballot of an upcoming election.
Nothing wrong so far…
But then, these politicians will appropriate taxpayer funds to “educate” the voters on the merits of their proposals.
Here’s an example: The Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors recently voted to place a parcel tax measure on the local ballot for the November general midterm election. At the same time, they voted to add $2 million from the county treasury to a fund for “public outreach and education.”
This is code language – intended to deceive the public — for campaign materials designed to convince voters to vote in favor of the tax.
This is a clear violation of Government Code Section 8314: “It is unlawful for any elected state or local officer, including any state or local appointee, employee, or consultant, to use or permit others to use public resources for a campaign activity…”
Note that while the county spends taxpayers’ money on its political campaign, opponents of the new tax will have to spend their own money to truly educate voters about the flawed tax bill.
Another example of taxpayer abuse is the exorbitant retirement packages given to public service employees – using current taxpayer dollars.
You’re not going to believe this … but it’s true:
The Deferred Retirement Option Plan (known as DROP) pays L.A. police officers and firefighters both their salaries AND their pensions simultaneously for the last 5 years before they retire – if they are at least 50 years old and have 25 years of service.
What’s perhaps most incredible about this windfall benefit package is that it was approved by voters in 2000…
The deal was sold as a way to retain the most experienced officers for a few extra years … and give their departments time to hire appropriate replacements.
Guess what has happened since the plan went into effect…
Nearly half of all the officers and firefighters who have entered the program have subsequently taken an average of 10 months of injury leave … receiving both their regular salary and their pension checks while not working.
One such officer claimed injuries to his back, shoulders, knees and hips … but then was found teaching diving lessons at a SCUBA shop.
Another officer collected $1.5 million from the DROP program while he missed nearly 3 years of his last 5 years on the force due to knee pain, carpal tunnel syndrome … and injuries he claimed he suffered from falling out of an office chair.
These abuses give a whole new “sickening” definition of the saying, “Your tax dollars at work.”
What do you think? Write me at [email protected]