Read all about it on The Oakbook.
The new parcel tax for additional police officers will likely be accompanied on the November ballot by a charter amendment that would extend the City’s deadline to fund their retirement obligations for the Police and Fire Retirement System (PFRS) (PDF!) beyond the currently set date of July 1, 2026. The City’s currently unfunded liability for PFRS is roughly $330 million, and it’s only going up (seriously. In July 2006, the unfunded liability was estimated at $268.7 million).
The extension was requested at today’s Rules Committee meeting. Ignacio De La Fuente was decidedly skeptical of the measure, saying that he understood the idea behind pushing back the deadline is to offer the City flexibility, but that “At some point, somebody, maybe our grandchildren, will have to pay.” The Committee declined to place the ballot on the City Council’s agenda just yet, instead asking staff to return next week with more information about similar deadlines in other cities.
So just to be clear what’s going on. In November, you will be asked to vote to tax yourself to pay for more police. At the same time, you’ll probably also be asked to vote to put off paying the full costs of our obligations to a number of retired public safety employees until who knows when. I’m not opposed to more police, and I’m not even opposed in theory to a tax increase that would support additional officers. But I don’t think that the City deserves any more taxpayer money until they can demonstrate that they can be trusted to spend what they get responsibly. I don’t want us to end up like Vallejo.