By: Ambrosia Brody
NEWPORT BEACH — The State Lands Commission has agreed to hold off voting on the Newport Beach City Council’s request to create a Harbor Fund dedicated to pay for capital improvements in the harbor, after two elected officials submitted a request to postpone the decision.
State Sen. Mimi Walters (R-Irvine) and Assemblyman Allan Mansoor (R-Costa Mesta) asked Lt. Gov. Gavin Newsom to delay the city’s call for the creation of the Harbor Fund, in order to have time to review how the money will be used and residents’ concerns about the plan.
The commission agreed to delay a vote on the matter at its April 26 meeting. It is now scheduled for the commission’s June 21 meeting, said Sheri Pemberton, a spokeswoman for the State Lands Commission.
The letter from elected officials was drafted at the request of the Newport Beach Dock Owners Association, a group of citizens and business owners who were behind the Stop the Dock Tax campaign. It has filed a lawsuit against the city of Newport Beach, alleging violations of California’s Brown Act, which mandates open meetings.
Newport Mesa Tea Party Patriots
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
May 9, 2013
TEA PARTY OPPOSES RADICAL TAX HIKES ON NEWPORT BUSINESSES AND RESIDENTS IN NEWPORT HARBOR
COSTA MESA, CA – Newport Mesa Tea Party Patriots today announces its opposition to the series of tax increases levied on Newport Harbor businesses and residents. “We view the reckless taxing and spending by the Newport Beach city council as a threat to the liberty of its residents,” declared Tom Pollitt.
Over the past year Newport Beach politicians raised taxes on mooring owners by 300%, commercial marinas 366%, and harbor businesses 183%. One long time harbor business was hit with a 700% increase. Just 14 days before last Christmas they levied the largest property tax in the city’s history on residential dock owners of Newport Harbor. The Dock Tax will go up from 800% – 5,000% depending on the residents pier configuration.
“Newport Beach is the poster child of government waste. They built a $140 million ego busting city hall, and they have the highest unfunded pension liability in Orange County. Old Newport conservatives like John Wayne and Barry Goldwater would be appalled at the bloated and intrusive bureaucracy of Newport,” concluded Tom Pollitt.
5:26 PM PDT, May 9, 2013
The Newport Mesa Tea Party Patriots on Thursday announced its opposition to fee increases for the use of public tidelands in Newport Harbor.
The fee increases, which will be phased in over several years, have become a source of conflict between harbor stakeholders and the city. They apply to the private docks that span public waters.
“We view the reckless taxing and spending by the Newport Beach City Council as a threat to the liberty of its residents,” group founder Tom Pollitt said in a statement. “Old Newport conservatives like John Wayne and Barry Goldwater would be appalled at the bloated and intrusive bureaucracy of Newport.”
The city has said it plans to use the money from increases to make needed infrastructure improvements in the harbor.
However, dock tax opponents are suing the city in hopes of blocking the new fees — 52.5 cents per square foot per year for the use of public tidelands. The old rate was $100 a year.
The Newport Mesa Tea Party, Pollitt said, is about 350 strong, with an average attendance at meetings of 75 or 80.
— Jill Cowan
Dock fee opponents seek state review
Mansoor’s office will analyze whether to take the contentious issue to the Joint Legislative Audit Committee.
By Jill Cowan
8:10 PM PDT, May 9, 2013
State legislators may soon be asked to referee the ongoing scuffle between the city of Newport Beach and residential dock owners.
Opponents of the dock fee increases are calling for a review of the way the city spends revenues generated in its management of public tidelands. They want a review by the Joint Legislative Audit Committee, which investigates policy, finances and other matters and then passes recommendations on to the Legislature.
Assemblyman Allan Mansoor (R-Costa Mesa), who found himself on the receiving end of both that request and a response from the city roundly dismissing the claims made by opponents, said Wednesday that his staff will analyze whether to take the issue to the committee in coming days.
“I think it’s fair to say we want to thoroughly review it,” he said. “We’re giving it the due diligence it deserves.”
IT’S TIME TO TAKE OUR TOWN BACK
We are asking you to be physically involved. We appreciate your monetary generosity, but now is the time for you to physically support our cause with your personal appearance at our rally to protest to the cost of the city hall.
We talk to person after person whom think this cost is outrageous. If you agree with us, support us at the rally this Saturday.
Stop The Dock Tax
www.stopthedocktax.com Please check with our web site for the lastest information
CITY MANAGER SAYS TIDELANDS FUND IS “TRANSPARENT”
SO WHY DOES HE OPPOSE AN AUDIT?
Finally, a truthful statement from our city government. As we have suspected, the Dock Tax, increases on commercial marina owners, and Harbor businesses don’t go to the improvement and maintenance of the tidelands – the money is used for salaries, benefits, and pensions of our bloated bureaucracy.
“Kiff said the city has in the past used Tidelands Fund money to pay expenses such as employee salaries, benefits and pensions. However, he said, the money was used to pay employees who “work for the tidelands” such as lifeguards or those who work for the city’s Harbor Resources Division.”