2017-05-18 / Letters

Tax increases would cover pension costs

The April 11 discussion surrounding a half-cent sales tax increase by the city’s finance director and Councilmember Rob McCoy was disingenuous.

They say the money will go to streets and roads, but, in reality, it would be nothing more than a pension tax.

The money already included in the budget for streets and roads would be moved to pay the California Public Employees’ Retirement System (CalPERS) and then replaced by money from the increased sales tax. It’s just an accounting gimmick.

The City of Thousand Oaks will pay close to $5 million to CalPERS this year, and that figure will increase to $10 million within five years. CalPERS’ actuarial valuations say that Thousand Oaks’ pensions are underfunded by $60 million using an unrealistic 7.5 percent gain on investments. CalPERS’ gain on investment for 2016 was a poor 0.6 percent and 2.4 percent for 2015.

Stanford University’s Pension Tracker put the unfunded pension plan at $180 million using a 3.75 percent gain on investment.

This is only the beginning of tax increases for the people of Thousand Oaks to cover this shortfall.

Michael Degnon
Thousand Oaks

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