As a Sacramento resident, I'd be willing to consider raising my sales tax to pay for enhanced public safety on one condition.
Union employees, especially cops and firefighters, must pay into their pensions like everybody else to save public safety jobs.
If those concessions aren't made and to call them concessions is offensive given the employees don't actually lose money in the long run then don't ask voters for help.
On Tuesday, some members of the Sacramento City Council signaled a willingness to put a sales tax increase on the November ballot.
But how can you expect the public to bear some pain while city employees cling to outdated entitlements?
In previous years, the city agreed to pay the employer and the employee shares of police officer and firefighter pensions. It will cost the city $37 million in the next fiscal year to continue doing so, but if employees helped by paying their own pension shares, 34 police jobs and 62 firefighter jobs would be saved.
Do that much and then we'll talk sales tax. Then it would seem real after six years of deficits that everyone finally has come to grips with a simple fact: There is no money.
Cops already have been laid off. Property taxes and sales taxes are depressed. Parks are so decimated, local businesses have to beg for money to keep city pools open.
I know. I know. Republican friends and Mayor Kevin Johnson make a good argument in saying that raising the sales tax in a time of double-digit unemployment is a bad idea. It is. Utility rates are already going up in a big way.
We should be talking about job creation in Sacramento. We should be creating incentives for business to grow, particularly in the health, research and agriculture fields.
There is talk of developing a regional strategy to address Sacramento's economic vitality, but it's only in the talking stage right now. The region still is likely years away from seeing any benefits from such a strategy, should one ever materialize.
In the meantime, the major argument in favor of considering a sales tax increase is the potential to end six years of cutting.
If the city got its pension concessions and held the line on public safety and then coaxed voters to tax themselves some lost services could be restored.
Treading water without taking on more water would be considered a victory around here.
Maybe then Sacramento could consider building after years of cutting.
The state capital has been mired in a loser mentality for years a mindset where too many focus on what can't be done as opposed to what can be done.
I'm sick of it and I'm willing to put my money where my mouth is. But only if cops and firefighters do as well.