You are really voting on enabling the city to hobble taxpayers with $135 million in bonds. Remember, $5 million+ a year for 25 years plus interest, with interest maybe $200 million. Nobody knows.
There is a good chance that the money will be diverted. Local and state politicians have a poor record of using money allocated for a specific purpose. Prop. P has lots of wiggle room. Remember that if the money is misused, your only recourse is a lawsuit against the city.
Many people in Laguna are on a fixed income, so an additional 1 percent here and there adds up. Promoters of Prop. P would have you believe that most of the additional sales tax will be paid by tourists, however the additional 1 percent applies to new and used vehicles that are registered to Laguna Beach residents. A new car purchase at $35,000 adds $350 to your new car price on top of the $2,700 you will have to pay. Other big-ticket items such as furniture and appliances shipped into Laguna will carry that extra 1 percent.
Note that one of the sponsors of this tax is the LB fire department. Someway, somehow, public safety unions will find a way to tap into this revenue stream for pensions.
Construction will take years. If you think traffic in Laguna is bad now, wait until the Canyon is torn up for undergrounding. If you look at the scope of work, you will see that it applies to more routes than just the canyon.
Lastly, this is a poor expenditure of public funds that will turn into a major boondoggle. With delays and cost overruns, you should assume that the cost will be two or three times the estimates and construction won’t take 25 years, it will take 50. Do residents want another bullet train-type fiasco? No timetable for completion and no budget.
George Orff, Laguna Beach