NCT ENCINITAS: Voters to decide on taxing short-term rentals
[Excerpts] Supporters of the tax have said it makes sense and creates a fair playing field for businesses that provide lodging to tourists. But they said that getting voters to OK any kind of tax hike is no easy feat, especially in a June election.
"My concern is that low voter turnouts have a more conservative voter base and they will vote against anything that says tax, even if they are not against them," said Mayor Jerome Stocks.
Proposition F would add that tax to short-term rentals ---- units that rent for 30 days or less ---- at a rate of 8 percent. That money would be put in the general fund from which the city provides fire, police and other services. A simple majority is required to pass Prop. F.
With an estimated 130 short-term rentals within the city limits, the new propositions could bring in roughly an additional quarter of a million dollars annually, Stocks said.
See Also: No Break for Local Businesses
NCT Old Encinitas gas station recommended for removal
An old gas station on public property near City Hall "is in extremely poor condition" and should be removed, according to a report bound for the City Council on Wednesday.
The building on the corner of Vulcan Avenue and E Street has been empty since the San Dieguito Heritage Museum vacated it last year.
UT New Library: More Than Books
Hundreds of people streamed into the new Encinitas Community Library yesterday to play or rent video games, use the Internet, borrow music CDs, listen to live music, read newspapers, eat cookies, and yes, borrow books.
Mostly, they came to tour the county's newest library, a $20 million bluff-top building packed with features sorely lacking in the cramped 1966-era library it replaced...
If you don't think your taxes are too high, ignore this editorial.
Last week state Sen. Denise Moreno Ducheny, D-San Diego, was at Cal State San Marcos telling members of the California Faculty Association that the state's fiscal crisis would require the university to "get creative."
Of course, by that she did not mean eliminating administrative waste, curbing generous teacher pensions, or cutting marginal courses.
No, it's quite clear that Ducheny meant agitating for new taxes. Or, as she put it: "If I give a dollar and you give a dollar and everyone gives a dollar, we can help."
But new taxes aren't only being contemplated by liberal Democratic state legislators.
In Republican-leaning San Diego County our representatives on the San Diego Association of Governments held a retreat late last month to plot how they were going to get voters to approve a "quality-of-life" tax in 2010.
The rest of the editorial discusses the proposed TOT amendment and SANDAG's use of tax dollars to campaign for higher taxes. READ THE COMPLETE EDITORIAL.
On February 20th the council will consider adding to the June 2008 ballot an extension of the current hotel tax. The current hotel tax is 10%. The proposed extension will make the tax apply to short-term rentals. Here is the city's staff report.
See also: Attempt to Expand the Sand Tax.
NCT Encinitas considering tax on vacation rentals
City officials say they plan to ask voters in June whether they would support taxing short-term vacation rentals.
The proposal is the latest salvo in an ongoing struggle over the rights of landlords who rent out coastal properties, and the desires of residents who live in those seaside neighborhoods.
Bowing to complaints that vacationers were spoiling residential areas with excessive partying, parked cars and trash, the City Council in 2005 approved a ban on new short-term rentals...
Now, under a proposal heading to the council next month, private homes rented to vacationers for 30 days or less would be subject to the city's 10 percent transient occupancy tax.
"I think it's only fair to let the (owners of) short-term rentals participate in paying for city services," said Mayor Jerome Stocks. "I don't think it's fair to discriminate against them and not allow them to help."
Known informally as "bed" or "room" taxes, transient occupancy taxes in Encinitas apply to hotels or motels with three or more units...
That means the levy should be considered a special tax and subject to a two-thirds approval requirement, said Tim Bittle, an attorney for the Howard Jarvis Taxpayers Association.
NCT SANDAG sets stage for 'quality-of-life' tax
Aiming to place a so-called quality-of-life sales tax on the county ballot in 2010, regional politicians gathered Thursday to discuss whether the measure should target ocean pollution, beach sand replenishment, open space or public transit ---- or all of the above.
After a full day of airing ideas on the topic at the San Diego Association of Governments' annual retreat in the eastern San Diego County desert town of Borrego Springs, no clear consensus emerged.
Many elected officials attending the three-day workshop, which concludes today, agreed that a new sales tax ranging from a quarter cent to a half cent on the dollar is needed, and that ideally it should address all four objectives. But some officials warned that adding buses and trains to the mix, just a few years after putting the TransNet regional transportation measure before voters, could jeopardize the entire package.