Sonoma County Controller to Address SoCoTax – March 15

Sonoma County Auditor-Controller-Treasurer-Tax Collector Eric Roeser is this month’s featured speaker.  Mr. Roeser will address the financial challenges faced by the county in the aftermath of the Tubbs fire last October.  In addition to the loss of human life, nearly 6,000 structures were destroyed decimating the county’s property tax base in the process.  All that on top of the millions of dollars in unbudgeted expenses for fighting the fires, evacuating residents and dealing with the resulting cleanup and rebuilding process.  This will be a fascinating and informative discussion.  Make your plans to attend.  Click here for more info.

District Attorney Jill Ravitch to Speak on April 20

Sonoma County District Attorney Jill Ravitch will visit SoCoTax on April 20 to discuss the district attorney’s office and related matters.  Meeting open to the public.

October Newsletter Available.

Our October newsletter is now available.  Read about the ongoing efforts (or lack of) by the Santa Rosa city council to recover expenses re the Fountaingrove Fire Station; read about Santa Rosa’s, Sonoma’s and the county’s proposed sales and other taxes on the November ballot.   Click here to download.

Jon Coupal, Howard Jarvis Taxpayers Ass’n. President, to Visit SoCoTax

Be sure to join us for a very special visit with Howard Jarvis Taxpayers’ Association President Jon Coupal on April 21.  Mr. Coupal will share the latest developments in Sacramento with respect to Proposition 13 and other matters of concern to taxpayers.  Click here for details.

Stop Digging

When you’ve dug yourself into a hole… stop digging. It’s an old sentiment, but useful today. It applies to individuals, business and to our government, whether local, state or federal.

In more normal times there may be a useful debate about government adding new programs or expanding others, but not today. At other times real problems may justify government intervention, but not today.

Our State government has a growing multi-billion dollar deficit and has failed to address a persistent deficit for years. Most of our local governments are suffering from shrinking revenues and exploding costs attributed to past commitments to employee retirement and other benefits. Add to this mix a meltdown in the real estate and mortgage markets and a significant slowdown in the economy and there is no capacity for individuals and businesses to pay higher taxes to bail out the over committed governments. It’s well past time to STOP DIGGING!

The first order of business, for everyone, is to return to prudent financial practices. That means, don’t spend what you don’t have. It means reduce borrowing. It means prioritizing, and cutting some things that are not essential activities. In short it means tightening belts at every level of our society. Better times will come. Market forces have a way to correcting problems like we currently face, and will do so again.

Many public officials have gotten the message, and others are recognizing the new reality. Unfortunately there are still those making the old arguments for new things government “should do”. There well may be things government should do, but not now. It’s just not financially prudent to keep digging a bigger hole.

Jack Atkin

SCTA, President