Voters feeling economic crunch

The losses of Proposition J in Del Mar and Proposition L in Solana Beach send one clear message — residents and businesses are tired of being taxed no matter what the cause.

While Del Mar had tried to tax only those visiting the city by extending its transient occupancy tax to short-term rentals and Solana Beach officials wanted a new way of taxing business, there’s no doubt that the time was wrong to ask anyone to spend a dime more.

The economy is still not on totally solid ground, although some small signs of improvement are showing around the edges. For small business in our communities, even a small tax could be a deterrent to visitors looking to spend money here or to a business person hoping to expand.

While we took a stand supporting both measures, believing they were well thought-out, we certainly relate to the stand the voters took. City (and state) officials must find a way to live within their means, even if it means cuts to services that residents are used to having.

There’s a bit of good news in both cities: Neither one had actually taken the money to the bank. Del Mar Mayor Richard Earnest told our reporter this week that they hadn’t budgeted the money and Solana Beach City Manager Dave Ott said they plan to work within the existing structure and make cuts if necessary.

Let’s just hope now that city council members get the message and that residents work with them to figure out new ways to trim corners while still making our cities the great places we want them to be. Then, when the economy is back at full steam, hopefully they will have learned what “essential services” really means.