Sunday, December 11, 2005

Should Laguna Beach Raise Property Taxes a Half Percent?

See my comments in the article written by Sara Lin in the Los Angeles Times Sunday, December 11, 2005 Laguna to Vote on Tax to Fix Slide Damage

“City officials say sales tax boost is needed to shore up Bluebird Canyon. They're optimistic, but some residents say the election will be close. If the special election measure passes, the half-cent-on-the-dollar increase will raise $10.2 million over six years and be used, in part, to repair the slope that gave way June 1, destroying or damaging 20 homes.”

“Even with the Federal Emergency Management Agency's announcement last month that it would chip in about $5 million to help replace roads, storm drains, sewers and water lines, city officials say the tax is needed.”

If opposition to the measure seems muted, it's because of how the tax debate has been framed, said Gene Felder.

" ‘Instead of being an open political debate, the people that are for it have claimed they're the compassionate good people, and if you're going to verbalize that you're against it, you have to take the risk of being seen as cheap and uncompassionate,’ said Felder, 59.”

“Felder said locals might be wary of giving more money to a city that has a record of mismanaging capital improvement projects, citing as one example cost overruns at a public park that was part of the Montage resort.”

“Felder said he would likely vote against the sale tax hike because he thinks the city can find the money by consolidating City Hall staff and outsourcing some work.”


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