The city– which created an eye-popping $3.34 million in revenue last year (linked here), much of which was done by fining people who park on the roads during street sweeping days– announced yesterday (linked here) that they were going to begin fining people again.
The ticketing was originally suspended (linked here) back in March due to the Coronavirus and the “stay at home” orders, which caused an inordinate amount of non-moving cars to collect on the roads. Now that certain sections of the economy are being reopened partially, the city has decided it is high-time to start raking in the bucks again, as everyone else struggles to get back on their feet again.
Newport Beach City Finance Director Dan Matusiewicz said $13.5 million is a “conservative estimate” of the losses– through June alone.
But Newport Beach has a far bigger problem they need to budget for, and it’s the one we have been accused of “crying wolf” on for years and years (linked here), and I’ve been warning this would happen (linked here), have stated ad nauseam that this was the city’s #1 long term threat, and now, it looks like it may happen 4-5 years earlier than even we had previously predicted, thanks to the Coronavirus meltdown. The CalPERS bill is going to come due Soon. And it ain’t tiny. And the actions that the city took to mitigate this? Almost zero.
And now– just as we had warned previously (linked here), judges are now considering giving government the ability to yank pensions out from underneath government workers (linked here). And with a budget crisis looming, what do you think the cities, counties, states, school boards, and other special districts will do? If you are eligible for retirement with CalPERS– *RETIRE NOW*. A ruling is expected in June– which, coincidentally, the end of June will be the end of the fiscal years for CalPERS, which will doubtlessly show massive losses.
But why should you care if CalPERS has losses? Let’s dive down that rabbit hole a bit more: Imagine if I gave you $10,000 to gamble in Vegas. I told you that if you win, we will split the profits, and if you lose, you don’t owe me anything. Great deal for you, right? That’s the same deal we gave to CalPERS. We told them to take the payments we give them for peoples retirement, put them in the stock market, and if they lose, we’d be on the hook for the losses. Not even joking or exaggerating. That’s the deal we have with them.
Now, after the massive market dip due to the Coronavirus, CalPERS is going to be demanding millions more from cities, counties, states, and districts throughout California. Similar things will be happening to other states throughout the US at the same time. And how do you think these cities– which spend every dime they take from us already and have virtually no reserves– are going to pay for these unexpected expenses ranging from millions to several tens of millions of dollars per year, year after year? Watch the video (linked here) from a few years ago to hear the options.
And if you are getting a little too comfortable parking near your home and not moving your car– please, on Monday June 15th, break that habit, or be prepared to cut some checks 🙂