Originally published – April 15, 2014 by Eva Travis
Was it good for you? Tax Day I mean. Did you get money back? Was it the same as last year? I am guessing…NOT.
My own taxes and subsequent return, left me somewhere between shock and trauma. I used to depend on my returned taxes to pay my ensuing property taxes. It was a fair deal. I earned returned dollars on my taxes (based on interest paid to banks) and gave those dollars back to the government in another tax (property taxes), in order to reside in a property without harassment from landlords. It worked fairly well until recently.
A myriad of reasons contributed, including less interest paid to banks based on a nearly paid off mortgage, and less income, attributed to Contra Costa’s nearly 3% wage decrease to employees, endured for the past 3 years. Couple that with a cost of living increase of nearly 10% during the past 8 years, that went unanswered in wages, and this year becomes a serious face to face with the economy and my viability to be a part of it.
Tonight the news claims food has quadrupled in 3 months! But when wages are not only stagnant for eight years but have gone DOWN, being employed by Contra Costa County is no longer a job of integrity, or an example of value and honor.
Contra Costa County is currently in negotiations with my bargaining unit but have yet to even make the same (unacceptably low offer) that they have made to other units. Those other units are largely paid higher wages and often receive better benefits than we do, so they have been better able to sustain the wage losses better than we have.