Opinion: Citizens Tax Committee Responds to “False” Mengarelli Allegations

As the President of the Citizens Tax Committee I have been disturbed by the recent false and fallacious radio ads attacking Mayoral Candidate Phil Goode.  The claim that Phil, and CTC, doesn’t support our police and fire is wrong.

We opposed the Prop 443 tax increase because it is the wrong solution to a flawed and broken retirement system.   That system needs repair more than it needs more taxpayers’ money.

The passage of Prop 443 stymied the efforts of former Representative Noel Campbell and others at enacting reforms at the state level, where it is needed.

The issue the opposition claims is that Mr. Goode, an associate member of the CTC, will not support police and fire personnel due to a position our organization took on Proposition 443 during the 2017 city election.

This deceptive claim could not be a more inaccurate statement. Our organization’s position was to clearly articulate why we opposed a three-quarter cent increase in sales tax to fund the Public Safety Personnel Retirement System (PSPRS) — Arizona’s police and fire retirement account. The PSPRS administration manages the retirement fund of approximately 65 retired Prescott police and fire employees. The City also sets aside funds in three different plans intended for the benefit of current fire and police personnel.

We stand by our original position, as we believe does Mr. Goode:  The fund managers’ poor decisions, unrealistic investment return projections, and excessive management costs  and overly generous benefits all contribute to the ever-increasing demand on taxpayers to keep these funds afloat need urgent correction.

We all agree contributions for retired and current public safety employees need to be managed well. And prior to the passage of Proposition 443, there was leadership from our state legislator, Noel Campbell and others to address deficiencies of PSPRS at the state level. However, passage of Proposition 443, quashed any initiative by state lawmakers who now felt no pressure to act. So long as there are taxpayers, PSPRS will never run out of money — even if it crowds out other city services.

Mr. Goode has researched the PSPRS fund. He is well versed, as is our organization, on the shortcomings of PSPRS funding and management. I contend Councilman Goode is without a doubt the most knowledgeable of the current city council members on this subject. The inadequacy surrounding PSPRS has not an iota of influence on Mr. Goode’s support of the current employees of the City of Prescott. He is an ardent supporter of the current city operations and is a firm law and order person.

Phil Goode is very deserving of respect in his campaign for the position of Mayor. I base my observations upon his respect for all the citizens of Prescott as well as his in-depth knowledge of the daily operations of city services, including the budget process. I strongly support his candidacy in the August primary

[Editors Note:   As a matter of editorial policy,  Prescott eNews does not endorse candidates.  The foregoing article is published to correct the public record at the request of the Citizens Tax Committee.]

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2 thoughts on “Opinion: Citizens Tax Committee Responds to “False” Mengarelli Allegations”

  1. I have already addressed the issue of false, deceptive, and misleading political ads in the comments to an article by Buz Williams and will not repeat them here.

    What I will address is the out-of-control defined benefit government pension system.

    In the private sector, the defined benefit pensions have largely become extinct as private businesses have transitioned to the more predictable and manageable defined contribution pensions. In the defined contribution model, such as the 401k plans, money is contributed to the employee pension account during the employee’s tenure with the company. The money in the account can be invested in various ways according to the wishes of the employee and the employee takes the risk of losing money with these investments.

    With the defined benefit pension the employee is guaranteed a specific payout upon retirement and, in the case of government defined benefit pensions, the taxpayer is on the hook for making these payments.

    Inept and sometimes crooked politicians have been willing to mortgage the future of their cities, counties, and states by entering into contracts with government employee unions which provide government employees with exceedingly generous and risk-free (compared with their private sector counterparts) pensions that will have to be paid down the road by future taxpayers. By doing this politicians can spend money that they don’t actually have, and when the bill for these pensions comes due, they will no longer be in office or will be dead.

    It is time to end the outdated defined benefit government employee pensions and bring them into the reality of the 21st century defined contribution model. Presently, incompetent politicians buy more employees than they can actually afford and push the pension costs associated with those employees into the future where someone else will have to deal with the mess that they created by cutting back on public services such as infrastructure repair and parks & recreation in order to fulfill these pension obligations. Politicians and the taxpayers who elect them need to put a stop to the continuation of the obsolete defined benefit pensions for government employees in order to avoid the inevitable painful fiscal belt-tightening down the road.

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