Tuesday, November 15, 2011

This Day in Silly Taxes

The Orange County Register clues us in on a tax proposal making its way to next year's ballot in Laguna Beach. If passed, the plan will slap a $120 parcel tax onto Laguna's homeowners, whose property tax bills are not trivial to begin with. The tax will be used to purchase and preserve undeveloped land in the city. To see why this is such a pointless tax, perhaps a photograph of the area will help.

You see, within the city limits, Laguna Beach basically consists of developed neighborhoods right along the Pacific Coast Highway, and rugged canyon country that's nearly impossible to develop. Southern Orange County may have too many strip malls and subdivisions for some tastes, but the point remains that such things are hard to build on sheer cliff faces. Unfortunately, the simple logic of topography isn't enough to prevent the city from coming up with this new way of extracting money out of the taxpayers. It's unclear what the tax's chances are with Laguna's voters, but it's not hard to imagine it turning into a sort of slush fund that's seldom used for open-space preservation. Laguna's landscape, after all, tends to preserve itself.


Post a Comment