Prop. J: Tax expansion needed

Voters in Del Mar will have an opportunity on Tuesday to decide whether or not the city should extend its transient occupancy tax, currently at 11.5 percent, to short-term vacation rentals.

The city estimates that revenues generated by expanding the tax will net $181,000 annually.

If approved, Proposition J would also create a system that would provide protections in the residential areas in which short-term rentals are operated. Homeowners would have to pay a permitting fee and abide by the new code. According to the city, that permitting fee would cover all associated administrative costs. If the owner of the property or their guests do not comply with the new rules, they could lose their permit or be fined.

The city defines short-terms rentals as properties with three or fewer units that are rented out for periods of 30 days or less. Many Del Mar property owners take advantage of the tourist destination to rent their homes to visitors.

While we don’t like the creation of more bureaucracy in city government, we think this tax amendment should be adopted.

Not only would the new code guard the community against the possible adverse impacts of short-term renters, including excessive noise, disorderly conduct, trash accumulation, overcrowding and other potential problems associated with unregulated, transient use, it would also require everyone to pay their fair share.

Del Mar boasts a central location, close to venues that play host to a number of events, not to say that the Village itself is not a desirable locale with its gorgeous coastline and European charm.

In short, we are in a vacation destination. With that, much of our city service budget goes toward maintaining our beaches and Village for visitor use. Every visitor to the Village should make a contribution toward those services. Hotel and motel guests do, as do Del Mar residents. Why should those staying in short-term vacation rentals be a privileged class?

Let’s give our city government the resources it needs to maintain the high quality of service our visitors have come to expect by having everyone pay their share.

Vote yes on Prop. J.


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