The Citizens for the Preservation of Open Space are collecting signatures to put on the ballot an initiative to add $120 a year on every property owner’s property tax bill for 20 years. Please don’t sign this petition or vote for it if it’s put on a ballot.
I for one am tired of being taxed over and over for every project that benefits a small select group. If this organization is so concerned to save these vacant parcels, let them raise the money some other way other than forcing property owners to carry the burden.
I would like to know how the Citizens for the Preservation of Open Space consider this method of collecting $20 million fair and equitable. Any registered voter, regardless of if they own, rent, live with their parents or in the shelter can sign or vote on this measure. It’s not an unbiased representation of who is ultimately going to be stuck with the cost for the next 20 years!
Of all the registered voters in Laguna, how many of those actually pay the taxes on a parcel of land? Why should the people who don’t pay property taxes and wouldn’t be impacted with additional taxes have a vote? Why didn’t the Citizens for the Preservation of Open Space contact every property owner in Laguna and ask if they would like to purchase these bare lots with an assessment? One vote per parcel. Not every spouse, adult child, mother-in-law living in a rented apartment complex or house should decide if I want the burden of paying for this open space. This would also give the property owner that rents out their home in Laguna a vote. Unless these property owners also live in Laguna, they most likely are registered in the city where they live and therefore not able to vote on a Laguna ballot.
The answer is obvious. This is a quote taken from their flyer: “The Citizens for the Preservation of Open Space have worked tirelessly to draft, redraft, and perfect the project, spending tens of thousands of dollars on expert help to get it right.” Yes, they have spent tens of thousands of dollars to ensure that the actual people paying for the project won’t be heard but instead, pushed through by the majority of citizens not required to put forth any cash.
If this proves successful for this group, it opens the door for more organizations to gather signatures in the name of making Laguna a better place at the expense of property owners. How about Citizens for a Rock Concert on Main Beach initiative? Or, Bring All City Structures up to Earthquake Code initiative? Just tack it on our property tax bills. People who own their own home in Laguna are rich, right?
Jill Cooper, Laguna Beach