In the mid-1960s, as the they continued riding a wave of popularity, The Beatles released the classic album Revolver, which opened with the song “Taxman.”
If you drive a car, I’ll tax the street … If you try to sit, I’ll tax your seat … If you get too cold, I’ll tax the heat … If you take a walk, I’ll tax your feet.
The lyrics are not only timeless, but also dead on for those of us constantly enduring the taxman’s wrath today.
When it comes to Supervisorial candidate Dave Roberts’ record, we have a case of life imitating art. In fact, the song could plausibly double as the theme song behind his campaign for County Supervisor.
As many Solana Beach residents know, Roberts’ penchant for raising fees and taxes is remarkable. Since his election to the City Council in 2004, Roberts has voted on twenty-one separate occasions to raise 237 fees.
Specifically, Roberts has voted for fee increases on trash collection, sewer rates, parking fines, and on five separate occasions approved blanket increases that raised dozens of other fees, many of which hurt small businesses.
Furthermore, many of these fees hit programs and services enjoyed by working families and taxpayers. Included in this “fee-for-all,” Roberts raised fees on day camp for kids (by 60 percent), sports field use (a 57 percent increase), street address changes (up by 65 percent), business license renewals (a whopping 275 percent hike), and dozens of other programs and services.
In addition, he’s also voted in favor of imposing a business tax in the middle of a recession. That proposal—Proposition L in 2010—was shot down by voters just a few months later.
Roberts also supported placing a measure on the ballot that led to Solana Beach assessing the highest hotel tax in all of San Diego County — increasing it from 10 to 13 percent.
Among the more intolerable of Roberts’ proposals was the creation of a new trash fee. Despite warnings from the Howard Jarvis Taxpayers Association that the increase required voter approval, he voted to implement the tax anyway.
Roberts would argue that these increases were necessary to improve the City’s fiscal health. Yet, while voting in favor of measures that hurt taxpayers, he also supported increases in pay and perks for City Council members.
In 2007, Roberts approved a “Council stipend” of $3,000-per-year, which was really a “vehicle allowance” for local travel that is added to his pension for retirement benefits.
In 2008, Roberts voted for a 20 percent pay raise for the Solana Beach City Council (the maximum allowed for General Law cities of its kind), which equated to a five percent per year increase since the prior raise, which was in 2004.
Overall, Roberts’ record shows a consistent pattern of higher fees and higher taxes.
And now he wants to be a County Supervisor? We can’t let this man anywhere near our county budget.
It’s clear that when Roberts faces fiscal challenges, he immediately looks to the taxpayer to fix the problem.
The challenges San Diego County will face in the coming years will require leaders capable of looking outside the box and creating innovative solutions to complex problems.
Steve Danon has the record, experience, and ability to do just that.
Dave Roberts? He’s just another taxman, unable to think of solutions that don’t involve your wallet.
To view a more detailed report on Roberts’ record of raising fees, follow the link.