Friday, November 24, 2006

Déjà Vu

From the Sacramento Bee:

An unrelenting housing slump that has driven down the region's home values and sent sales into a tailspin is expected to strike local governments next year, curbing the record growth rates in tax collections that pushed some budgets into the black for the first time in years.

From downtown Sacramento to rural Amador County, financial officials and county assessors say they're watching a gathering storm that's initially expected to blow into their budgets during the 2007-2008 fiscal year beginning July 1.
In Sacramento County, for example, Assessor Kenneth Stieger expects that the 15 percent jump in taxable property values that fueled this fiscal year's budget could drop to as low as 6 percent growth in next year's budget. Such a decline could cut revenue projections for the general fund by as much as $18 million. Sacramento County's budget is about $2.2 billion.

"We will have perhaps the largest growth drop year to year we've seen in modern times," said Geoff Davey, the county's chief financial officer. "Looking at multiyear growth up and down, we couldn't find a single year where the rate of growth dropped by more than 4 percent over the last 20 years."
Meanwhile, the housing slump also is cutting into taxes steered to government treasuries by buyers spending heavily following their big purchase. "I'm sure it's going to show up in sales taxes, too," Davey said.
From the Stockton Record:
The day before Thanksgiving, about 30 Stockton workers had no job, when Meek's Lumber & Hardware, 2050 N. West Lane, did not open for business. Customers and professional contractors were surprised by the sudden closure Wednesday as they arrived at the longtime Stockton lumberyard to pick up building supplies.
About a half-dozen former employees were gathered in the Meeks parking lot Wednesday morning. They said they were told at 3 p.m. Tuesday that business was off, the Stockton store would be closing and their jobs were terminated.
A former employee who worked at the lumberyard for about four years said the store had cut back on personnel in recent months, but "just two Saturdays ago, they told us everything was OK."
"The lumber market right now is in turmoil," said [Don] Woxberg, who started in sales at San Joaquin Lumber on West Scotts Avenue 35 years ago. After seven good years for lumber suppliers, he said, "everything started going south in January. Prices are cheaper now than they were five years ago." That's put a serious dent in profit margins as other expenses such as wages and other employee and energy costs have risen steadily.
From the Stockton Record:
Real estate experts say investors increasingly have been cashing out here on the sale of commercial real estate property, which, unlike the single family home market, is holding its valuation just fine in a strong state economy. Then they're looking to buy comparable property in pockets of the United States - mainly in the Southeast, Texas and the Midwest - where they get a bigger bang for the buck, and the rents there are still pretty good.
David Muscovic, a Stockton real estate investor, improved his cash return after he sold an older 14,000-square-foot office building in downtown Stockton for $1.4 million and bought 20,000 square feet of newer, better-quality office space in Macon, Ga., about 60 miles south of Atlanta.

"I felt like there weren't good enough returns in California, so I started looking in other states," he said. Plus, he feels some negative pressures on California's commercial property sector that will hurt valuation in the Central Valley.
There has been a lot of California selling to buy elsewhere, said Michael Yesk, a regional vice president for IPX 1031, a San Francisco-based investment property exchange service. Over the past five years, there has been huge growth in people wanting to sell and move out of state, he said.
Yesk expects to see more commercial-property sales in California because owners will become less confident that the market will continue to rise. "We're certainly not seeing dumping of buildings left and right like you do in single-family homes," he said.


Gwynster said...

Here comes the "government workers are all over paid" season. I can tell you UC staff employees get paid crap, about 30% less then Cal State employees do.

ps. bah humbug- I hate this time of year

karl marx brothers said...


It's not so much overpaid as a few other things that rub us civilians raw:

* No Accountability - pass some tests to get in & yer on a career autopilot forever, beholden to no one, unable to get fired unless you are caught with yer hand in the cookie jar, so to speak.
which leads to ....

* Lack of Motivation - why look for better ways to get the job done if yer supervisor doesnt want you to rock the boat, because ....

* Too Many Layers of Red Tape - hey! the more people in a dept equals more political clout & job preservation/turf wars( why do you think 8 fire trucks respond to a cat in a tree call? For next years budget numbers of course)

I know you are UC instead of govt. but the same silly rules apply.
However, yer intelligent postings seem to reflect you are an exception to the rule.

No offense intended / just a general response from an average joe.

I grok you ! rock on !!

karl marx brothers said...

P.S. Gywnster

I like the " Pat Benatar " stance in the new avatar.
( hit me with your best shot, fire awayyyy )

karl marx brothers said...


whoaa this holiday rum concoction sneaks up on you

RMB said...


Don't know much about pay at the UC's, but state and local employees seem to do just fine. In my city the median pay is 2X the median for the county and there are almost 30% of the employees making 90K+ per year. Bennies on top of that.
With all of the press I would have thought the UC's pay well, they get about 10 Billion dollars per year and they have been in the press quite a bit about thier higher up's making a killing -- something like a couple 1000' of them over 100K per year with at least a 1000 over 200k per year. Great work if you can get it. I imagine from your comments this doesn't trickle down to the rank a file?

Gwynster said...

1. Accountability. All staff must pass a 6 month probation like most private employers. Now I’ve seen some slackers come in and they don’t tend to rise about an AA 2. Like most companies, we have those folks who are within inches of retirement and they are just sharpening pencils until they go. Now UC hasn’t given out merits in 7 yrs and we went without even cost of living for 4.5. You sure don’t come here for the money.

2. Motivation. Not giving out merits did more to kill motivation then anything else. Most people come into the UC wanting to do more, achieve more and work their way up. The old timers mostly want everything to stay the same (until they retire). I’d be thrilled to see some early retirement packages get handed out so us young guns can get down to making system really work.

3. I can’t argue that. It’s like that in any corporation. Ask someone inside Intel what they do to justify their existence. I was a tech writer/business analyst before coming to UC. I’ve seen it all.

Most salaries double on the merit scale. Almost no one is making that kind of money except folks who have been here loooooooong time. I’ve been with UC for over 5.

Here are the salary scales:

Now, top admin are making 90k+ per yr but not your average worker bee staff member, their supervisor or their manager. Not even beginning Departmental managers (MSOs) make that much though a capped out MSO III will but there you are talking about people with 25 yrs with the campus.

The UC system is taking a beating in the press (which I cheer) but when it comes to money, staff sure aren’t seeing any of it. Honestly, I could write one hell of a position paper on what is wrong with the current UC system >; )

Anonymous said...

To the readers of (Elk Grove Online)-

The Oracle is Back in Town!

The Oracle started telling the readers of Elk Grove Online about how the market was going to crater for over a year.

They all accused me of being a Chicken Little.

Well, what The Oracle called in 2004 and 2005 is actually happening in 2006.

The Oracle is not a dummy and really has a good handle on what is going on in the market.

I just couldn't sit on the sidelines any longer.

karl marx brothers said...

" The Oracle is not a dummy and really has a good handle on what is going on in the market.

I just couldn't sit on the sidelines any longer "


does mm m mmama know yer playin da foosball instead of handing out H2O?

Just BS'n ya man ... have a good one !!