“Disabled” Cop Fleeces Taxpayers While Working Full-Time for FBI
Soaring public pension costs are driving a wave of tax hikes across California, but many officials are reluctant to admit that fact. Instead, voters are told that higher taxes are needed to fund services like parks and public safety, or other items that enjoy similarly positive poll-tested support.
The latest example of this ruse can be found in Oakland.
In March, voters will be asked to approve a property tax hike with the ostensible goal of raising an extra $20 million annually for the city’s parks department.
A closer look at the city budget, however, makes clear that exploding pension costs are the real reason the city needs more money.
Retirement pension costs have more than tripled over the past ten years and currently consume nearly one out of every five dollars in general fund spending. Annual costs are projected to hit an all-time high of $235 million in 2024—a $77 million increase from last year, which will more than erase the amount raised by the proposed tax hike.
Most of this expenditure provides no benefit whatsoever to taxpayers or city workers and is spent instead on the benefits of those already retired—which explains why officials prefer not to mention rising pension costs when justifying the need for higher taxes.
Taxpayers aren’t just being misled about the role that pensions are playing in the push for higher taxes, however; they are also being kept in the dark about how the system works, particularly when it comes to so-called disability pensions for police officers.
In 2014, the San Jose Mercury News found that Oakland was awarding police disability pensions at a rate far higher than neighboring cities. Astonishingl
Article from Mises Wire