Editor, Manteca Bulletin,
The City Council has approved a series of outlet stores and smaller home development In Manteca. The outlet stores will provide the city with one time fees and a tax base for the city.
With the Bulletin stating that sales are down by $100 million, I can’t see where the mall will provide much of anything, except what I mentioned. I see the small homes approved, as a project that will continue to hurt the city, in people regaining the loss of the original price of their homes. It’s not about equity on our homes; it’s about regaining the $100,000 most people lost in the price drop on their homes. All of us that own homes, including the mayor and council, have seen their homes drop back at least $100,000 in value from what they paid originally.
Approving more homes compounds the problem of regaining the original cost of our homes.
Perhaps you will gain some monetary value from the above projects, but it won’t provide a long-term guarantee against another deficit year. The city needs to consider a long-term fix for our city that will supply revenue indefinitely. It is obvious that the city hasn’t got a fix in mind for our deficits beyond this year. Continuous hits on the city and the police and fire attest to that fact.
It seems as though Allan Thomas, the golf pro, is the only one making money at the local golf course. He has mounted a continuous fight for a losing enterprise in this city. The question is does he really care about the future of the course, or the money he is making? The city supplements this course at an average of $140,000 annually and has let the course eat into the general fund for $1.7 million over the years.
I see this course as a loser and the council is obligated to act on this land and turn it into a profitable asset. This land should be considered for a three-story condo village that would have its own shopping established on the premises. It would also provide room for hotels and other investments.
I don’t think flooding the city with more homes, is a solution to our deficit problems.
I think we need to get out of the real estate business and embark on a plan to get rid of all property that doesn’t provide a tax base for the city. We also have five old buildings that need to be sold off.
People are definitely looking for a new direction from our council. The $100 million drop in sales in this city is not because of the lack of shopper or the variety of stores and products offered. It is the ridiculous high taxes that the shoppers are avoiding by shopping the Tracy mall and Modesto. To be honest with you, I shop these two cities in order to retain more of my income.
I will stick my neck out in predicting a huge turnaround in sales in all areas if you drop sales tax to 7 3/4 cents. This seems like it would be too much of a drop at first, but this would draw a customer base such as this city has never experienced. I will go further than that by saying the increase in buying in Manteca would exceed the amount of sales tax reduction.
High sales tax and doubling up on license fees has caused people to retain what they have for a longer period. You know the governor has asked for this increase for two years. You know politicians always have the option to extend this period. This brings about the need to do something to stimulate car sales and the lowering of the city sales tax would certainly stimulate an increase in auto sales.
We all reside here and we want the city to operate without imposing more taxation on the people. I just think there is a better way to satisfy the needs of this city without city workers, police and fire personnel taking the blame for the deficit. I think ownership of the deficit should be admitted by the council instead of shifting all the blame to the hard-working city employees. People would respect a council that admits their overspending and tax giveaways are the root cause of the deficit.
Oct. 27, 2009