Zach Groban (owner of Rusty Del Mar)
Deborah Isackson Groban | 7th Street
We are not categorically opposed to a tax increase, but we are opposed to Proposition Q because it is predicated on a sloppy process by City Council, and the underlying justifications are wrong both on logic and principle. If one believes the ballot argument in favor of Measure Q made by current council members a “yes” vote is a “no brainer.” According to the official ballot argument, 80% of sales tax revenue is derived from millions of visitors, who will then pay their fair share of costs to make improvements in Del Mar.”
Those outside of Del Mar are already paying a disproportionate amount of taxes, so taxing them even more to pay for capitol improvements makes little sense. By this line of reasoning, every time we go to a beach, visit a restaurant, or merely take a stroll in a community outside of Del Mar, we are imposing upon the infrastructure and services of that community and should bear a higher cost burden to provide improvements in that City.
The city initially wanted to use the increased revenue to pay for undergrounding. Met with protest and the need for a 2/3 voter approval, suddenly every capital improvement the city has considered in the last 15 years was designated as a possible recipient for the added revenue. Council has not been forthcoming about the fact that usage of the funds does not have to be for capital improvement, can be decided by a vote of three council members, and is deposited directly into the city’s general fund and, according to the city attorney ,”may be used for any municipal purpose.”
Finally, council members are always voicing their commitment to the downtown business community. Then why place this burden solely on the back of the businesses? In their haste to get this measure on the ballot, no other means of increasing revenue was presented, such as a higher real estate transfer tax.
This measure will impact local residents, not only on the increased sales tax, but on online purchases such as Amazon and, as substantiated by the city attorney, if you buy a car or boat, one pays the tax not on where it is purchased, but in the city in which one lives. If you purchase a new Tesla or BMW, look to pay about a $1000 more in taxes.
This ballot measure was created in a hurried, haphazard manner by a council that wanted to seize the opportunity for a new tax and believed we would just trust them to make good choices.The process and rationale are both flawed which is why we urge a “no” vote on this measure.