By Hershell Price
Resident, Del Mar
As a long-time resident who wants the best for Del Mar, it is hard for me to fathom why anyone would be in favor of Prop. J, the proposed short-term rental tax on the June 8 ballot.
We are in one of the worst recessions in recent history, the unemployment rate is hovering around 10 percent, hotel revenues are down and therefore hotel tax receipts to our city have diminished considerably. And now they want to tax visitors who stay in our homes, visit our restaurants and stores and provide some additional income to our homeowners to pay their mortgages and property taxes. Why would we want to drive away those visitors who enrich our city and add to our local economy? It doesn't make sense and that is why I am voting no on Prop. J.
None of the revenues collected will be dedicated to beach services or any other specific city program. They will go into the general fund and can be used for additional staff to manage this new tax program and to supplement pension benefits as needed. Shouldn't the city learn to live within its means just like our families do?
In closing, I honestly believe that if Prop. J is passed by the voters, we as a community will regret that we changed the codes to allow homes to become hotels in all of our neighborhoods. Once the permit is granted it is hard to take away for any reason whatsoever. Traffic and noise will increase and more mini-hotel businesses will be created throughout our neighborhoods. Please join me in voting no on Prop. J.