In a wide-ranging interview with IVN San Diego, the President & CEO of the San Diego County Taxpayers Association Haney Hong, made clear his feelings about the push to implement government controlled energy, also known as Community Choice Aggregation or CCAs.
The taxpayers watchdog says the implementation of this new energy strategy is half-baked and could very well put the City of San Diego's financial future at risk.
IVNSD Video Interview with Haney Hong
IVNSD Podcast with Haney Hong
Taxpayers Association On CCA Concerns
"Our objective is to get an apples to apples comparison. Which plan reduces greenhouse gases most effectively, which one actually what kind of exposure is created to the taxpayer and let's compare these and then figure out the best way to go."
Hong remains concerned that the City of San Diego's feasibility study provided a range of outcomes that are simply too risky and uncertain. Hong believes taxpayers would likely not be protected if the city enters into an agreement with CCAs.
CCA Proponents say their plan lowers consumer costs, reduces GHG emissions, and provides more green energy for our region. Do you agree?
"No, I do not. So the evidence shows especially if you look at some of the other CCAs that have been happening around the state, you are not getting the incremental GHG reductions that they are promising and I worry that this might be a potential environmental fraud."
"When the City of San Diego came out with its feasibility study it had about 10 potential outcomes, some had a positive net value to as much of a negative value of 2.8 billion dollars. It's a 3 billion dollar swing of uncertainty. So we need a lot more clarity before taking on a huge risk."
Taxpayers Association on Pension Liability
"There's a $6 billion unfunded liability for the County of San Diego, plus the 18 cities, so we're not talking about the water/school districts, we're not talking about all the other municipal agencies, we're just talking about the cities and the county, $6 billion liability. It's going to come to pensioners not getting their checks and be an intergenerational fight. They are either going to have to say pensioners you're not going to get your checks, or kids, sorry we can't afford any more parks, or taxpayers we are going to need to raise your taxes to fund both. We need defined contribution plans and need to bring more certainty to the table."
"The armed services has changed it retirement program effective the first of this year, where every service member begins in a defined contribution program and the taxpayers association is here to work with the cities, county and the state to try to create options to give wiggle room. It's a huge problem and we need to tackle it asap."
Taxpayers Association Does Not Endorse Chula Vista Measure A
"The San Diego County Taxpayers Association opposes Measure A, the sales tax proposal for Chula Vista. This proposal is in perpetuity and it can be used for anything. The folks are saying it's for public safety, but they can change their mind and use that tax money for any purpose. No on A which is on the June Primary ballot."
The battle over SoccerCity and SDSU West
"Because it's so complicated we're doing what we do, which is take our time, read the initiatives and understand the details. We're talking with both sides, sending them lots of questions and that will inform our analysis on the fiscal implications for taxpayers of these plans. I'm asking both sides, these are the questions taxpayers have, and what is the law that backs up your claim. I don't have a personal preference on one or the other, our job is to dig into whatever is there and then provide an analysis for taxpayers."