Don’t make our homes hotels

By Hershell Price

When the leaders of Del Mar created the hotel tax many years ago to collect taxes from visitors, they wisely excluded our homes from this taxation.

Our current hotel tax covers all residential properties greater than two units. The city can tax short-term renters in any residential complex greater than two units whenever they choose, without approval of Proposition J. That’s right: The only reason for Proposition J is to amend the existing code to place our homes in the hotel category so they can be regulated and taxed too.

Every home in Del Mar will be designated as a hotel for taxing purposes under Proposition J. In reality, this is an expansion of the business district into all of our neighborhoods. Once your neighbor obtains a short-term rental permit, that home becomes a legal business. Is that what we want in our neighborhoods?

The San Diego County Taxpayers Association opposes Proposition J. They point out that the revenue estimates are only guesses and will not be enough to offset the bureaucratic costs needed to police this regulation. Any revenues generated will be used by staff to administer, regulate and enforce Proposition J, and to supplement their pension benefits.

Under Proposition J, if you rent your home – even for a week – you must obtain a permit, comply with written regulations, keep records and then pay the tax to the city. Why should any homeowner be burdened with these unnecessary requirements?

Homeowners already pay their fair share. They pay property taxes to help fund our city services and will have to pay again if Proposition J is adopted. Short-term rentals help our Del Mar economy. Unlike beachgoers east of Del Mar who leave at the end of the day, they use our restaurants, shop in our stores and spend money in our city. Why tax our local economy? Rents paid to any of our homeowners help pay their property taxes, mortgages and other obligations.

Proposition J is not only a tax; it is further regulation of all homes, even if they are not being rented at the present time. Circumstances can change in our lives so we should protect the rights we presently enjoy.

Proposition J is a bad idea and should not be enacted. We need less government intrusion into our daily lives, not more. Stop this divisive and unwarranted tax from becoming law.

Vote no on Proposition J.