THEY THREW US A BONE WITH NO MEAT ON IT!
Last Tuesday I sat in the first row of Newport’s new city hall chambers waiting for a special “look-back” study session after a year of the Dock Tax.
Wrapped in the grandeur of our $140 million civic center complex I reflected upon President Reagan’s August 12, 1986 speech where he said, “The nine most terrifying words in the English language are, ‘I’m from the government and I’m here to help.'”
His words were as accurate last week watching the Newport Beach city council “help” as they were in 1986.
A SOLUTION IS SEARCH OF A PROBLEM
Councilman Henn argued that the city’s actions raising taxes on mooring owners, commercial marina operators, harbor businesses, and residential dock owners was done because the state might sweep in and raise the taxes. We’re the only city that preemptively raises taxes on residents because of what might happen.
They continue to use inapplicable state legislation to justify the tax.
THE UPDATE – CITY SAYS YOU HAVE NO “PROPERTY RIGHT” TO YOUR DOCK
In short, the “look back” was more of the same. Here is a recap:
They didn’t listen – they continue to rely upon inapplicable state statutes to justify the Dock Tax.
They didn’t resolve the issue of our property right – in fact Councilman Henn and the city attorney stated that we have no property right to our dock.
Agreed to remove the arbitrary 10-foot perimeter from your Dock Tax calculation. The perimeter charge was an arbitrary tax that goes to the core of this debacle – the state never required it, but our politicians adopted it – now want to repeal it.
You can watch the entire study session here.
The chambers was packed with dock owners still mystified at a process that should have never happened. They will consider an amended Dock Tax ordinance in December.
LAWSUIT UPDATE – DISCOVERY BEGINS
Almost a year ago we sued the city for violating the Brown Act in the adoption of the Dock Tax. You’ll recall that they formed a committee by city resolution to set rates and charges. The committee terminated on March 31, 2012 – but continued to meet in secret without proper public notices or agendas. According to the city attorney, the committee met “organically.”
In the next 60 days our lawyer will begin deposing city staff and councilmembers to see if they “organically” remember violating the Brown Act.
Stop The Dock Tax
www.stopthedocktax.com Please check with our web site for the lastest information
P.S. I want to thank you for sticking with us for almost one year. Your donations keep us in court and communicating with the community. You can safely donate online here to help continue our campaign to Stop the Dock Tax and stop our big spending politicians.
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