SDCTA Releases Study on Region's Pensions: City Pension Costs Linked to Higher Taxes
High employee pension costs are helping push some cities to raise taxes, according to a new study by the San Diego County Taxpayers Association. On average, an amount equal to ten percent of city general funds in San Diego County is consumed by pension costs alone. Four of the five cities with the highest pension burdens have sought sales tax increases in the past three years. El Cajon and National City are tied for the highest tax rates in San Diego County and have the highest pension costs. La Mesa, with the third highest pension burden, raised sales taxes in 2008 and now has the second highest tax rate in the County. Voters in Chula Vista, with the fifth highest pension burden, rejected efforts by its city council to raise sales taxes earlier this year following a campaign by SDCTA to alert voters about runaway spending in that city.