October 2012.

CITY WORKSHOP FOR NEXT WAVE OF HARBOR TAX INCREASES
Wednesday, October 31st
3:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m
Newport Beach City Hall

Just like General Sherman’s March to the Sea in November 1864, the Newport Beach city council is rolling through the Harbor to tax anything that moves, makes a profit, or might someday make a profit.  They are not stopping with the 300% mooring tax hike, or the 447% commercial marina tax increase.

If you know anyone with a Harbor restaurant, charter business, fuel dock, boat rental operation, or any marine supporting businesses please forward this notice to them.  The chart below was provided by city manager Dave Kiff as the starting point for the tax increase discussions.

I believe they are intentionally holding this workshop on Halloween to depress turnout.  It is in everyone’s interest to attend.

PROPOSED HARBOR TAX INCREASES FOR DISCUSSION AT THE WORKSHOP
(Source: City Manager Dave Kiff)

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447% TAX HIKE ON SMALL BUSINESS LEVIED BY NEWPORT BEACH CITY COUNCIL

On a 4-3 vote at last night’s Newport Beach city council meeting, an 18.5% of gross tax was levied on our Harbor’s commercial marina operators.  It was a disappointing display of big-government grabbing as much money as possible because “they can.”  There is no nexus to future projects the tax might fund – they just voted to tax because they claim “state law” requires it.

Voted for the small business tax:

  • Councilman Mike Henn – led the charge for the tax.
  • Councilman Ed Selich
  • Councilman Steve Rosansky
  • Councilman Rush Hill – supported the tax but successfully delayed implementation for 2 years.

Ahoy!

The waters in Newport Harbor are bubbling with the Newport Beach City Council’s desire to raise the rates for a tideland fee for commercial operations, which you can expect will be expanded to the residential properties.

Officials say the increase will bring the fee to fair market value, but how do we determine the true value?

The fees are really intended to cover the cost of city-provided services. What will the lessee receive in benefits or value for the raised fees? Nothing! They will still have to maintain the seawalls, docks, upland facilities, parking, dredging, eel-grass mitigation and so on. In other harbors, the fees pay for most if not all of these items and maintenance.

To some, this fee smells more like a tax, which should be subject to a vote of the people. But if the fee is included in the lease, the city can slide around a required vote.

Some letter writers to area newspapers say that the commercial property owners can afford the increase. But that increase will be passed onto customers — meaning you and me.