MOORLACH UPDATE — Thumbs Down on Pension Tax — December 27, 2016

The editorial board of The Press Democrat, out of the Santa Rosa area, gave their thumbs down on the $10 registration fee increase slated for April (see MOORLACH UPDATE — Pension Tax Begins — December 21, 2016 december 21, 2016 john moorlach).

It’s great to see a newspaper in a very liberal area of the state, where Sonoma County’s voters approved Proposition 55 with 67.2 percent of the vote, rise up against a $10 fee increase. But, in a state that has nearly 28 million automobiles, we’re not talking chump change.

What’s fun is that this newspaper also provided a cartoon that I’ve been using in my PowerPoint presentations for some time.

I guess now would be a good time to wish you a Happy New Year!

Thumbs down: A ‘pension tax’ benefiting CHP retirees

THE EDITORIAL BOARD
BY THE EDITORIAL BOARD

The state has a New Year’s surprise for motorists. Sorry, it isn’t road improvements. Auto registration fees are going up $10, beginning in April, to help offset the rising cost of pensions for retired CHP officers. “It’s a pension tax — call it what it is,” state Sen. John Moorlach, an Orange County Republican, told Bloomberg News.

CHP officers were the first state employees to receive enhanced pension benefits during the dot-com boom of the 1990s, a retroactive increase that allows those hired before 2013 to retire at age 50 with up to 90 percent of their salaries. The average pension for officers who retired in 2015 is $77,000 a year, according to the California Public Employees Retirement System.

But, Bloomberg reported last week, the investment fund covering CHP retiree pensions is in worse shape than any other fund managed by CalPERS, resulting in a $445 million increase in what state taxpayers must contribute in the current fiscal year. In turn, the state is increasing the basic auto registration fee to $56 — a $10 bump. Thumbs down.

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