By Lionel Emde, Riptide Correspondent
This flyer (above) began appearing on doorknobs in Linda Mar over the weekend. Expansion of the utility users tax (UUT) to phones and telecommunications is attacked in the flyer as "severely flawed," as "the city budget is balanced, has a $1.8 million surplus (up from $1.48 million last year) and all city programs including the police and resource center are fully funded."
The flyer's author is Charles (Chuck) Gerughty, a longtime local real estate agent and accountant. (Full disclosure: Chuck has prepared my tax returns for many years.) Driving around town on October 5, I saw "No on V" signs in several places. It is unknown where the headquarters and source of the signs and flyers are.
By Jim Wagner, Pacifica Taxpayers Against Measure VFor those of us who remember pay phones, rejoice! The City of Pacifica wants to bring them back in a new and “modernized” form. Now we won’t have to fumble for dimes and quarters. The city will collect from us automatically. How quaint. The phone tax deputizes City Council to go out us and root through our records for evidence of scofflaws. Oh, and with subpoena power. Wonder if they get a badge and maybe a sidearm!
Seriously, do you really want the city perusing your financial records? I see all kinds of legal issues here, but I’m not a lawyer, so who knows. How will they keep your records safe from prying eyes, or even from being stolen?
The following is from the text of the ordinance. Voters will be able to read this in its entirety in their voter information pamphlet:
"Compiled by the Pacifica City Clerk Ms. Kathy O'Connell, City of Pacifica. Council may issue an administrative subpoena to compel a person to deliver, to the Tax Administrator copies of all records deemed necessary by the Tax Administrator to establish compliance with this chapter, including the delivery of records in a common electronic format on readily available media if such records are kept electronically by the person in the usual and ordinary course of business. As an alternative to delivering the subpoenaed records to the Tax Administrator on or before the due date provided in the administrative subpoena, such person may provide access to such records outside the City on or before the due date, provided that such person shall reimburse the City for all reasonable travel expenses incurred by the City to inspect those records, including travel, lodging, meals, and other similar expenses, but excluding the normal salary or hourly wages of those persons designated by the City to conduct the inspection."
Oh, and there’s more of this little gem: "If any person subject to record-keeping under this section unreasonably denies the Tax Administrator access to such records, or fails to produce the information requested in an administrative subpoena within the time specified, then the Tax Administrator may impose a penalty of five hundred dollars ($500.00) on such person for each day following: (1) the initial date that the person refuses to provide such access; or (2) the due date for production of records as set forth in the administrative subpoena. This penalty shall be in addition to any other penalty imposed under this chapter. Sec. 3-11A."
I wonder if council even knows this is in the ordinance. If it did and passed it anyway, that's unconscionable! If you want a lawn sign or poster, call me at 650-738-4900.