Excerpt from Courthouse News.com:
Encinitas Accused of Illegal Vacation Tax
By TIM HULL
Encinitas charges an illegal annual $150 "short term rental fee" to discourage landlords from renting beach homes to tourists, a class action claims in Superior Court.
Lead plaintiff Chris Carrico, who owns a property management firm that rents beach houses, says the fee is an extra property tax that violates the California Constitution.
Carrico says the goal of the ordinance, in addition to collecting money for the city, is to drive out what the city perceives as rowdy summer tourists by fining landlords who can't control their tenants.
"A gullible Encinitas City Council, listening to an outspoken minority of 'locals', apparently believes, wrongly, that excessive noise, drunkenness, vandalism, trash accumulation and illegal parking is rampant in Encinitas and would not exist but for this specific type of vacationer," Carrico says.
He claims the poorly written, vague ordinance unfairly holds landlords liable for tenants' behavior. He says the ordinance exempts hotels from the same "stringent regulations and very stiff penalties" if their guests misbehave.
"The same misconduct that would be subject to fine and permit revocation when committed by a short-term visitor [less than 30 days] is not actionable under this ordinance when committed by renters of long-term rentals, hotels, or owner-residents," Carrico says.
Landlord fines start at $250 for a complaint not handled with 24 hours, and increase to $500, $750 and $1,000 for subsequent violations.
Carrico estimates the class at 200 landlords. He says summer rental income makes it possible for many beachfront homeowners to pay their mortgages.
The class seeks declaratory judgment voiding the ordinance and the fee, and their money back. It is represented by Edward Teyssier. read the rest click here
*Blogger's note - I disagree that the purpose of the $150 is to discourage people from renting out their homes in the summer. You can get big money for renting out a beach house for a week, $150 is hardly going to discourage that. My view was that all the local motels and hotels have to pay taxes, so if homeowners suddenly decide they are in the tourism business they should have to kick down some of the same taxes too.
I love this this quote: "A gullible Encinitas City Council, listening to an outspoken minority of 'locals', It's hilarious how the word locals is in scrotation marks. And, you know the council rarely folds to small groups of NIMBY's in this town so that logic is flawed. Good luck with your lawsuit dood.
A previous post about short term rentals clicky