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By Harold Kaufman, Dana Point

Unfortunately Ms. Nelson’s basic premise (in last week’s rebuttal to my Nov. 6 opinion piece, “It’s Time to Re-bid the TBID”) that the four big hotels in Dana Point are voluntarily funding the TBID is completely wrong. As a requirement of the TBID, the hotels are being assessed $3 per room night. Although they originally chose to form the TBID, with its creation, the assessment is not optional. It is mandatory. Just like the TOT, they have no choice.

The only way the hotels would not have to pay the assessment is if the City Council disbands the TBID or if the TBID votes to disband.

Since it is an assessment, it does belong to the citizens of Dana Point; however, the City Council required that the money collected by the assessment be used to “… enhance tourism related businesses throughout the city of Dana Point …”

As to her comments about the CAFR (Comprehensive Annual Financial Report) published by the city each year, the CAFR excerpt shows what it said about the TBID (page 69 for 2015):

Source: City of Dana Point
Source: City of Dana Point

Perhaps she can tell from this report where the revenue was spent. I sure can’t. Just what does “Community Development” mean?

As I have stated many times, I am in favor of the TBID. Using an assessment instead of raising the TOT was a brilliant idea since it did not require getting two-thirds of the voters to agree to a tax.

Using the money to promote tourism in Dana Point is a fantastic idea—one that I heartily support—but let’s promote tourism for all of our tourist-related businesses, not just the four hotels. Let’s take a long-range approach instead of a “what have you done for me lately” approach.

Having City Council members and representatives from the Harbor Association and the Chamber of Commerce and the smaller hotels on the TBID will provide oversite, bring all of the affected parties to the table and make it better for everyone.




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