CITY COUNCIL TO CHRISTEN NEW CITY HALL WITH DOCK TAX LEVY
First off, thanks to everyone that emailed, made phone calls, or attended Wednesday night’s city council meeting. It was a packed house – not a single speaker supported the Dock Tax.
If you couldn’t attend you can watch the streaming video here.
In short, the city council continued the hearing to December 11th, 4:00 p.m. in the new $150 million city hall located next to the Newport Beach Central Library. They made minor revisions to the Dock Tax, but nothing to substantively change the amount of new tax you will have to pay.
I find it ironic that we are about to be assessed a massive new tax in the most expensive city hall ever built in Orange County.
Nonetheless, we continue our vigorous opposition to this blatant money grab.
It is unfortunate that the city nor any councilmembers have reached out to talk to us – instead I anticipate a cram down on December 11th.
Since they don’t want to talk we are sadly organizing a boycott of the 104th Christmas Boat Parade & Festival of Lights.
Every year we joyfully spend thousands of dollars to decorate our homes and boats for over one million visitors to enjoy. We voluntarily spend this money so that children and adults alike can experience this special city that we cherish.
We are happy that the city of Newport Beach receives tax dollars from the packed restaurants and charter boats during the parade. Fashion Island is full, hotels are sold out, our friends at the Chamber of Commerce profit, and families from throughout Southern California see our beautiful community.
The boat parade and Parade of Lights does not happen if we turn off the switch.
We thoroughly understand the ramifications of this boycott on our business community, residents, and visiting tourists. This is not a cavalier decision – we realize it will have an economic impact. This is a decision borne out of frustration with our city government that has chosen to treat its residents in a high-handed manner.
Our right to boycott the Christmas Boat Parade is fundamental in our great Republic. We choose to exercise this right until this city council decides to sit down and for a reasonable conversation.
Until then, the lights are out.
MARK YOU CALENDAR & ATTEND
SPECIAL CITY COUNCIL MEETING TO ASSESS RESIDENTIAL DOCK TAX
Tuesday, December 11th
New Newport Beach City Hall
Next to the Central Library
100 Civic Center Dr.
City Council Chambers
Stop The Dock Tax
www.stopthedocktax.com Please check with our web site for the lastest information
YARD SIGNS ARE AVAILABLE
Call to arrange a time to pick up your Stop The Dock Tax sign.
Waterfront Newport Beach, LLC
(formerly John Dominis Restaurant)
2901 W. Coast Hwy. Suite # 200
Newport Beach, CA. 92663
Newport council puts off dock-fee vote
By DEEPA BHARATH
NEWPORT BEACH – Council members decided to put off a decision on raising residential dock fees after residents raised a number of issues regarding the proposal and an association of 1,200 dock owners threatened to boycott the city’s iconic Christmas boat parade.
Wednesday night’s special meeting, the last one to be held in the City Hall at 3300 Newport Blvd., was an emotional one with packed council chambers. Several residents held up printed white signs that read: “Stop the Dock Tax.”
The city is proposing to increase public tidelands fees from a flat $100 a year to 52.5 cents a square foot. However, the city is reconsidering other parts of the proposal, including a requirement for owners to indemnify the city. City officials also clarified that residents will not be required to take out a separate liability insurance policy for their docks and that their homeowner’s liability insurance policies should also cover the docks.
Almost all the speakers opposed the increases, and several said they will boycott the 104th annual Newport Beach Christmas Boat Parade, which draws more than a million people from all over the country.
Tom Johnson, a member of the Commodores Club, told residents at the meeting that their decision to boycott the boat parade will not affect the city or the council but small-business owners and other local organizations that hold together the community.
“If you decide to boycott the boat parade, you’ll be hurting the restaurant owners, the catering companies that do parties in people’s back yards, tour boats on the harbor. I appreciate your concern, but it’s misplaced.”
Also at issue was whether residents should be allowed to rent out their docks. The council and those who spoke at the meeting were divided on that subject. Proponents said it would help residents on fixed incomes fund the rent increase. Opponents said it might create traffic and parking problems in residential neighborhoods. City Manager Dave Kiff recommended that the council allow residents to rent out their docks but charge dock rent at the higher commercial rate set for small marinas.
Under the proposal, the increases will be phased in over three periods through 2015. Properties on private waterways or county tidelands such as Dover Shores and Linda Isle will not be subject to these fee increases, city officials said.
Bob Koop, a real estate agent, said the rent increases will have a significant effect on property values.
“This is impacting lives,” he said. “This is not just another little tax on the wealthy.”
Roger Pechuls, a Balboa Island resident, said he finds the rent increases “appalling.”
“Where does it stop?” he asked. “Are you going to tax every kayaker, every paddleboarder who uses the water?”
Council members agreed to revisit some pending issues, including insurance and indemnity requirements, and vote on the matter at the Dec. 11 meeting at the new Civic Center.