Encinitas is a city of about 63,000 friendly people. It has a healthy balanced budget and healthy reserve funds. It also has among the best credit ratings of any municipality in California. I take pride in whatever small amount my 12 years of City Council service contributed toward its fiscal stability.
The new city council has decided it has more “wants” than it has money to spend on them. Frankly, as a living, breathing human being, who is not Bill Gates, I can’t imagine many people or organizations that don’t. Be that as it may, the new city council majority wants to try to increase local sales tax in Encinitas, and they are behaving much like a child jumping up and down demanding more allowance so they can have candy, McDonalds and the movies instead of budgeting and setting spending priorities.
Placing a proposed tax increase on a ballot would require four out of five council members to agree to do so. The council majority of Kranz, Shaffer, and Barth only have three votes in favor, but they voted to move forward with a $100,000+ study to see if the issue (which I repeat, won’t make the ballot due to a stated lack of a fourth vote) would be popular with the voters. Really?
This is the same group which refuses to entertain purchase offers for City owned surplus property worth millions of dollars and is very discouraging to new businesses that want to open, which would generate millions of dollars in jobs and tax revenue!
But they propose direct consumer taxation. Really?
This was a regular agenda item and yet nobody from the Encinitas Chamber of Commerce weighed in, nor the Encinitas Taxpayers Association, not the San Diego County Taxpayers Association, nor the New Encinitas Business Network, nor the Encinitas Hospitality Association, nor the Lincoln Club, nor the DEMA (Downtown Encinitas Mainstreet Association, heavily loaded with retail merchants). Where the heck are the watchdogs in this town? Nobody cares if Encinitas charges our consumers more than they would pay for the same item in Carlsbad or Solana Beach? Really?
Kudos to Deputy Mayor Mark Muir and Council Member Kristin Gaspar who stated cogent opposition and voted “NO” on this bad idea moving forward.
Encinitas must have changed a lot in the past couple years if the citizens of Encinitas don’t react loudly to this baseless and needless attempted assault on our pocketbooks!