Torrance Warned Utility User Tax Revenues at Risk Over Sanctuary State Resolution
Numerous requests by Torrance residents for the city council to pass a resolution in opposition to SB 54, the California Sanctuary State bill, have been repeatedly ignored and fallen on deaf ears.
So American Children First has decided to weigh in on the matter.
On May 16, I attended the city council meeting and spoke during the oral communications segment. Today, I dropped off letters for the councilmembers and the city manager.
The full text of the letter will be pasted below and can also be read at this link.
The gist of my comments and letter centered around the notion that American citizens are growing increasingly frustrated and impatient with their elected officials and how they fail to act on illegal immigration matters.
It was then that I reminded them that California citizens are afforded the power under Proposition 218 to repeal taxes through the initiative process. Further, the formula under Prop 218 is much easier to achieve than a regular initiative.
Regular initiatives require proponents to gather signatures equal to 10 percent of the total population of registered voters in that district. Prop 218 requires proponents to gather signatures equaling 5 percent of the total votes cast in the last gubernatorial election.
Only 33,500 votes were cast in Torrance back in 2014 for governor. Proponents seeking to repeal the Utility User Tax (UUTs), which accounts for roughly 20 percent of the city's general revenues, need only require approximately 1,650 signatures.
UUTs are the taxes Californians pay on their cell phone, cable, electric, water and gas bills.
Over the last couple of months, American Children First has been devising a strategy to defund sanctuary cities and cities hostile to our nationalist agenda.
Dozens and dozens of cities across California rely on UUTs to fund their budget.
One overlooked aspect is that cell phone users generally pay their UUTs based on their billing address. Not only does American Children First plan to go after some of these cities and their UUTs, we also plan to educate the public about how to become an "undocumented cell phone user" so that they can avoid paying these exorbitant taxes to our state and local governments.
The text of the letter follows:
RE: SB 54 – Sanctuary State Bill & Resolution Request
Honorable Mayor Pat Furey & Members of the Torrance City Council:
On Tuesday, I briefly addressed the council and expressed the mounting frustration many Americans feel towards their government due to inaction on the issue of illegal immigration.
It is my understanding that members of this community have made several requests of the council to pass a resolution opposing Senate Bill 54, AKA “The Sanctuary State Bill.” The council has seen fit to pass resolutions and proclamations on extremely important matters like “Bike to Work Day.” However, when it comes to protecting Americans from being victimized by illegal aliens who were released into our communities instead of being deported, you are silent.
When the taxpaying, law-abiding citizens of this country cannot even get their local government to pass a non-binding symbolic resolution opposing anarchy and lawlessness, the people are compelled to take a more participatory role in local governance.
Using Proposition 218 to Defund Sanctuary Cities
American Children First is currently developing a plan to utilize Proposition 218 to defund sanctuary cities by targeting Utility User Taxes (UUTs). Perhaps, the potential loss of these funds might compel elected officials to put the interests of American citizens ahead of illegal aliens.
Proposition 218 allows the people to repeal taxes by placing a measure on the ballot. The signature requirements are wholly different than the requirements to place a traditional initiative on the ballot, with proponents needing to gather valid signatures amounting to just 5 percent of the votes cast in the last election in which the governor was elected.
Consequently, 33,571 votes were cast by Torrance voters. Thus, we would only need 1,679 signatures.
The Risks of a Campaign
Governor Jerry Brown and Assemblyman Al Muratsuchi rammed through higher taxes under the guise of infrastructure improvements. The last time something like this happened, Governor Gray Davis was recalled.
The political climate is such that Senator Josh Newman is facing a recall and there is talk about a statewide initiative campaign to repeal these taxes.
A campaign to repeal or decrease the Torrance UUT may or not be successful. However, such an effort would allow us to build a database of supporters and give us the ability to communicate and educate voters about future elections. This can be particularly effective in off-year election cycles where turnout is diminished and organized efforts are much more influential.
Additionally, we would be able to inform the public during this campaign that they can lower their cell phone bills by changing their billing addresses to another California city that does not have a UUT or to another state with much lower telecommunication taxes and fees.
Win or lose, we would be successful in decreasing the amount of money collected via UUTs and in developing a network of connected citizens.
Newton’s Law of Motion
According to CaliforniaCityFinance.com, the UUT accounts for roughly 20 percent of the city’s general revenues.
Newton’s Third Law of Motion states that “for every action, there is an equal and opposite reaction.”
This law is not transferrable to the political world. In our world, action (passing the resolution) will result in inaction on the part of activists. Conversely, inaction (failure to pass the resolution) may result in a massive reaction – and the risks associated with that reaction should be fully contemplated.
Our grassroots collective of anti-illegal immigration activists are more than capable of qualifying a measure to repeal the UUT. However, my sincere preference is to focus on other endeavors.
If you would like me to draft language for the resolution to save staff time or discuss this matter further in any way, please feel free to call me at: (XXX) XXX-XXXX or email me at: info[at]americanchildrenfirst[dot]org.
Founder & Executive Director