June 2010 home page

  Yes on Prop J
8 cities can’t be wrong!

In June we residents will vote on the City’s proposal that visitors who rent Del Mar homes should pay the city’s transient occupancy tax (currently 11.5%) if they rent for 30 days or less. The Sandpiper urges a YES VOTE.

This tax would be paid only by short-term renters of homes. It is the same tax charged to short-term renters of hotel rooms and apartments. Approximately $175,000 would be raised to pay for services that we and the short-term visitors enjoy: beach and park maintenance, fire safety, and law enforcement. It’s only fair that everyone share the costs of these services.

The choice is clear. Either we residents continue to pay for services supporting vacationers, or you can have them pay their fair share too. This is already the practice in San Diego, Carlsbad, Encinitas, Escondido, Oceanside, Solana Beach, Chula Vista and Imperial Beach.

Even opponents of Prop. J acknowledge that “there is increased pressure…on city services by the usage of short-term rentals.” The opposition claims that the City of Del Mar has not tried to reduce spending and, instead, is seeking unwarranted revenue. This is untrue. In fact, the City has cut the budget repeatedly, staff has forgone raises, and open positions have not been filled. For proof, look at the 3rd quarter financial report on the May 3rd Council agenda.

Opponents, intimately and financially connected to the real estate industry, imply that Prop J impacts the renting of “our homes” “even for a week” to a “family member or friend.” This ignores the reality that many rental houses are businesses, with absentee owners,whose tenants benefit from our city services. A web search reveals that many of the Del Mar rentals on VRBO and other sites are charging between $500 and $3,000 per night. Folksy claims of “struggling” Del Mar “cottage” owners are untenable. And honestly, who “rents their house to a relative”?

Additionally, the rapidly changing home-renters, as visitors, lack an understanding of our community values and sensitivities, e.g. regarding noise and parking. Therefore short-term tenancy can be burdensome on the tranquility of immediate neighbors, leading to complaints requiring city intervention.

Please help your city ensure fairness in support of city services, and help your neighborhood by voting YES on Prop. J.



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