Mailbag: Council increased property taxes

September 02, 2010

In response to Mr. Christy's letter to the editor ("Keeping the council candidate honest," Coastline Pilot, Aug. 27, I believe my neighbor needs to check his facts. Mr. Christy asserts that the City Council cannot increase our property taxes and blames me for leading the Laguna Beach resident astray.

The fact is that the City Council has the legal authority—and exercised the authority—to raise each and every property owner's taxes on April 20 of this year. How's that for logic in the middle of a global recession?


Allow me to explain: property tax bills contain three different components. The first portion is labeled General Tax Levy. This portion is controlled by Proposition 13 and is limited to 1% of the assessed value of your home and cannot increase more than 2%, year over year.

The second portion is named Voter Approved Indebtedness. This portion can only be used to repay bonds approved by voters. Current law requires a 2/3 vote of the people to approve bonds, except for schools, which require a 55% affirmative vote.

The third and final component is labeled Direct Assessments. This is the portion that the City Council partly controls and this is the part of the property taxes that our illustrious incumbents voted to increase.

The record speaks for itself, but don't take my word for it. Listen to the incumbents boast of raising our property taxes (their words, not mine) at a City Council meeting:

Fortunately, we don't have to put up with this anymore. Join me in changing the direction of City Hall this November.

Emanuel Patrascu

Laguna Beach

As a resident and business owner in downtown Laguna for the past 30 years, I am offended by Mr. Petrascu's recent e-mail blasts and comments in the newspapers that the current City Council has done too little, too late to help local business.

I have owned businesses in Laguna Beach for years and have never seen a more pro-active and responsive City Council as it relates to business.

Personally, I have worked closely for several years with the current council members, I call them with my concerns, and I know that they have listened to me and have helped in a number of ways.

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