The rot in Concord: time to clear the decay

Concord is a the city needs new leadership. The old guard that has been running Concord’s City Council has been taxing and spending recklessly. Concord does not need to have its current sales tax of 8.75 percent. The tax just supports inefficient, spendthrift government.

Soon the sales in Concord tax will go to 9 percent because of Proposition 30, Gov. Jerry Brown’s new tax plan approved by voters on November 6. Brown’s plan will, statewide, raise the sales tax by one-quarter percentage point.

In 2010, Concord had a sales tax of 8.25 percent.

To help raise the sales tax from 8.25 percent to 8.75 percent, the Concord City Council, in July 2010, voted unanimously to put a measure on the November 2010 ballot. Foolishly, Concord’s voters approved the sales-tax hike, and in 2011 Concord’s sales tax went up.

When a sales tax goes from 8.25 percent to 9 percent, the sales tax on a $40,000 car goes from $3,300 to $3,600.

A higher sales tax can lead to more unemployment. If shoppers abandon Concord’s stores — such as Home Depot, Sam’s Club, and Costco — for locations with lower sales taxes, businesses in Concord may have to fire workers.

Higher sales taxes hurt senior citizens living on modest fixed incomes. These taxes also harm poor people.

Excessive spending is not new to the Concord City Council.

In 2006, the city council, under then-mayor Susan Bonilla, raised the pay of the city council by 72 percent.

Also, in 2006, the city council gave a 21 percent raise to police dispatchers.

In the spring of 2006, the city council gave Concord Disposal Services, the company that collects Concord’s garbage, a 15-year no-bid garbage contract. The garbage company also received an option to renew the 15-year contract for another five years.

Concord’s city council will have a new member, Edi Birsan, soon.

One hopes that the old guard that has been running things in Concord for too long will find that Concord’s political landscape has started to change. And change is occurring not a minute too soon.