Letter: Getting Money Out of Tourists

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In reading various articles and letters in the Indy, it is apparent that one overriding issue for the city is how to raise money for, among other things: covering future unfunded pension costs (a big expensive problem), money to handle and respond to the homeless problem (getting more expensive by the day), raising money to fund pavilions at the city entrance (Who will benefit? Tourists.), improving our infrastructure and cleaning up downtown (looking a little shabby), paying for the trolleys to bring tourists into town (which are currently free), covering city expense of the hordes of day tripper visitors (fire, police, lifeguards, public works), enhancing and supplementing law enforcement at main beach, and paying for undergrounding utilities (in spite of voter rejection at the ballot box).

As I have written in prior editions of the Indy, a solution is to consider policies, fees and taxes aimed at tourists. John Thomas et al wrote a report for the city council that outlined possible revenue sources. Our city council is not prioritizing addressing the solutions raised in John’s report. So far, the city seems to be choosing tourists over residents.

Laguna residents—understand that about $2,000 of your property taxes are being taken to pay for unreimbursed tourist costs. Let your city council members know that you want action.

George Orff, Laguna Beach

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