Just when you thought you didn’t have to worry about paying more taxes for a while….

In the upcoming California Primary you’re about to get hit with many a measure by your local government. Add them all up and there’s over 200 different ones, bond issues, parcel and local sales taxes.

What the heck is going on?

In this Virtually Rick, we take a closer look at the money. So, let’s get fiscal, baby! 


Which state has become a big deal in the primary now? Look familiar? A Democratic primary too? And which party's followers are more likely to pay taxes rather than reject them?

Well You guessed it. So now is being seen as the time to start the big, I mean little, tax whoopee machine. And that’s all happening on March 3. But it won’t stop there. You can expect many, many more similar measures to be added in November on the biggest election day of four years. 

And it might be met with rather down-turned smiles, or in this case thumbs or votes actually, particularly after the recent success of say the LAUSD union negotiations. It’s kind of going to stick in the craw of the electorate if more money is being asked for by schools and their districts.

I mean, didn’t we have a bumper decade? A windfall of large increases in taxes because of the improved economy? And where has all that tax money that’s been raised gone?

And the cities or districts that are putting in a measure on the ballot are asking for small increases, often roughly around 3/4 of a percent. Not much huh? Actually that can lead to millions and millions of dollars being raised.

So why is this happening?  Well, lots of reasons — it ain’t simple!

Actually, it’s the price of success. And the price has gone up. Years ago you’d be lucky if your grandpa made it into his 50s. Now, people are living almost double those lifespans. And who’s going to pay for that?

Which means those slightly important things such as health care and pensions have now become seriously expensive. Costing more money in some cases than districts and counties have coming in. 

And just coming out with it and saying “that’s the reason” isn’t a popular move, either.

“What? Pay for YOUR retirement? YOUR health care, when there probably won’t be any left for ME when I’M retired?” is most likely the response of many.

So local officials are, ahem, "dressing up" those costs. Which is why when you look at the measures there’s a lot of talk about improving recreation and parks or street maintenance. I’m not suggesting that that’s where the money’s coming from. Or am I? The reality is more money is needed, the problem is, nobody wants to pay for it.

And everyone in governance knows this. So how do we all collectively pull up our sassy big-boy-economic pants and realize we have to pay the piper? Well maybe the often quoted “death and taxes” line attributed to Franklin and Twain but really from British playwright, Christopher Bullock can help.

After all if there’s been no certainty but death and taxes since he wrote it in 1716, then why on Earth should it be any different now?