TR Robertson…The first meeting for 2018 of the Government Affairs Committee began with a presentation by County Treasurer, Dan McAllister, about the upcoming property tax assessments and their importance. All owners of real property must pay property taxes unless exempted by state law. These taxes are referred to as secured taxes. Unsecured taxes are assessed on personal property, such as taxes for planes or boats. Proposition 13 limits the tax rate to 1% of a property’s current assessed value, plus any voter approved bonds and assessments. Mr. McAllister stated almost 1 million parcel tax bills have been sent out. He said the SDTTC Offices last year had a 99.3% collection rate. Over $6 billion was collected in property taxes and fees last year. Only 7% of the population actually went in to one of the 5 branch offices to pay their taxes. Three percent will pay by credit cards. What is gaining in popularity is paying taxes by e-checks, which is the fastest method, no service fee charged and assessable on any computer or mobile device. Mr. McAllister said over 70,000 property owners came into the branch offices the last 5 working days of the year to pay the second installment of property taxes early. He then spoke about the possibility of property tax costs to businesses rising and the effect that would have on businesses remaining in California and how the property tax assessments are overseen at the county level.
Next on the agenda was several updates from representatives of elected offices:
- Lenna Wright from Congressman Issa’s office – Lenna reported the Congressman supported the tax reform bill, he voted No on the current tax bill and supported the $81 billion in Disaster Relief to aid those effected by recent fires throughout the state
- Matthew Phy from Senator Bate’s office – he reported the Senate had reconvened on Wednesday, a mileage tax proposal was being formulated for consideration, the Senator has been appointed to the Sexual Harassment Policy Committee to formulate policies and to deal with sexual harassment issues, and the Senator is sponsoring a discussion on California’s housing crisis on Friday, January 26th at the Sheraton Carlsbad from 8 to 10 am.
- Tony Winney gave the following update from the City of Vista offices – construction is underway on improvements on Paseo Santa Fe from Oceanview to the Civic Center. This will include updating sewer mains, putting utility lines underground, and other improvements. He stated volunteers are needed to participate in the homeless population count, the skate parks have been reopened and the roundabout proposed for Shadowridge Drive was not approved by the City Council.
- Other items discussed – Cal Jet Elite flights to Las Vegas are presently running at 2 a day and are a success. There is discussion that the airline will add destination points of Phoenix, Oakland, Sacramento and possibly other destinations.
- Two micro-breweries closed recently or will be closing or going through changes – Oceanside Ale Works and SpecHops.
- The next Government Affairs Committee meeting will be Thursday, February 1st and the State of the Community Luncheon will be held at the Civic Center, beginning at noon on January 22nd.