Dock Tax Update for Newport Harbor Pier Owners

Dear Newport Harbor Residential Dock Owner & Friend of the Harbor,

Some of you receiving this email have been fighting the city council’s outrageous tax increasess on Harbor businesses, moorings, and commercial marinas for over a year.

For many of you this is the first time you’ve received an email from Stop the Dock Tax.

Here’s a brief history and purpose of our organization.

I started Stop the Dock Tax in my living room with a few friends that are angry with this city council.

We are a grassroots group comprised of over 1,000 Newport Harbor residential dock owners.  We formed last July in anticipation of the city’s push to raise taxes on everyone – including us – that lives or conducts business in Newport Harbor.  In the middle of a recession they 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.

They saved us for last.  Just 14 days before last Christmas our city council levied the largest property tax in the city’s history on us, the residential dock owners of Newport Harbor.  Your Dock Tax will go up from 800% – 5,000% depending on your pier’s configuration.

We have hired lawyers, consultants, and raised over $100,000 to fight this unjust tax.  Our strength is in our grassroots activism.

We are in court Friday morning seeking a temporary restraining order to stop city from using the utility bill to collect the Dock Tax.

Soon you will receive a mailer (click here to read the mailer) from us asking you to not pay the Dock Tax portion of your city utility bill.  Pay everything but the Dock Tax.  We are asking the judge to stop the city from collecting the Dock Tax until our lawsuit has been decided.

Our local legislators are working with us to get to the bottom of the city’s decades-long manipulation of the tideland’s revenue.  We believe the city uses restricted tidelands money to pay for non-tidelands expenses – in possible violation of the terms of the Tidelands Grant.

Finally, we are highly disturbed by the overall spending habits of this city council.  We believe the increases in harbor taxes is due to the $140 million city hall project, $200,000 lifeguards, the highest per capita unfunded pension liability in Orange County.  Newport has a $263 million budget with $100 million in reserves.  This city council has a spending problem paid for by us.

Please bookmark our website ( and check it regularly for updates and current information.

We should always remember how the councilmembers that voted to impose the Dock Tax:



Councilwoman Leslie Daigle



Councilman Mike Henn (led the charge for the tax)

Former Councilman Steve Rosansky (Rosansky’s last vote as councilman was the Dock Tax – they adjourned to the new Taj Mahal for high-fives and self-admiration)

Councilman Rush Hill (said previous council’s should have raised the tax but to take this sh*t.) Watch Rush Hill’s outburst here. Hill is eligible to run for one more 4-year term.

Then Mayor now termed-out councilwoman Nancy Gardner

Then Mayor pro-Tem now Mayor Keith Curry



Councilman Ed Selich


It’s time to take city hall back from the bureaucrats and big-spending politicians.  Please join us in returning common-sense government to our city.


Bob McCaffreyChairman,
Stop The Dock Tax Please check with our web site for the lastest information

P.S. We are funded by donations from residents and businesses that are tired of the city’s wasteful spending and heavy-handed attitude.  You can safely donate on line by clicking here or mail a donation to Stop the Dock Tax, P.O. Box 26, Balboa Island, CA  92662.


dock tax - signs - pete bob kathy1.jpg


Call to arrange a time to pick up your Stop The Dock Tax sign.

Bob McCaffrey

1410 South Bay Front

Balboa Island




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