There sure has been a lot of interesting issues dealing with Measure C and the harbor as of late. The subject ranges from being a safe port to jobs lost, what is responsible for this financial mess, and the fairness of this tax.
The issue of Crescent City being “Safe Port Harbor” is interesting. The simple answer is yes it is, but what does this mean? It literally means that in case of emergencies a boat must be able to pull into our harbor. However, it doesn’t require that there be docks or services; it means that the boat must be safe and be able to get emergency services if needed.
You can row to shore. So, if the harbor closes it does mean that there will be little or no services, which somehow equates to jobs. So, I guess some jobs will be lost.
If the harbor is closed, there will still be a fishing fleet. However, without leases, there might not be any unloading services available. This means that the yearly $10 million to $20 million crabbing industry might have to go elsewhere to unload, for the docks will be closed. Therefore, more jobs might be lost not to mention the dollars that both the fishing and crabbing industries provide to our community.
The question of responsibility now comes into view. Who or what is responsible for this mess? The only answer can be Mother Nature. Does anyone remember what the harbor looked like after the 2011 Tsunami? If all the leases on the land and the sellable land were not tied up in
the loan for the harbor’s matching funds, the $ 5.5 million now in question, the harbor would still look like It did back then. There would boats crumbled and stacked in the comer, no docks, and very few pilings. Is this truly what the community wants the harbor to look like? Not to mention that most of the fishing fleet would have left the area. Sounds like a few more jobs might have been gone.
Now let’s look at what Measure C does. “More taxes hurt Del Norte County” and if we were charging a property tax, a repayable bond tax (which goes on our property tax), a tax on business (which is passed on to consumers), or a sales tax this would be a true statement.
However, a TOT tax is charged to the visitors of our county. No one living here pays a dime with Measure C. As far as fairness is concerned, is it fair for the city hotels, hotels and bed and breakfast to pay 10 percent while the county charges 8 percent? Furthermore does one area loose business to the other? Most people don’t even check. Is it fair for the city RV park(s) to charge 10 percent while the county charges 0 percent? In the RV parks that 2 percent increase results in a 70-cent increase per night, a
$21 dollar increase for a month and nothing after that. Long term tenants pay no increase.
Please notice Measure C isn’t attempting to raise the TOT to the full10 percent. In short, Measure C is the fairest way to help the harbor grow and develop into harbor that we all desire.
So please don’t be fooled by the rhetoric of the naysayers, join me and vote yes on
Gerald D. Cochran
Former Del Norte County Assessor