California group threatens boycott of boat parade

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A boating group Newport, Calif., is threatening to boycott this year's Christmas Boat Parade to protest proposed taxes and fees on residential dock owners.

The Newport Beach city council decided to postpone the proposed tax hike on 1,200 docks, according to Patch.com in Newport Beach.

The council was set to vote last week on changing dock rents from a flat $100 annual fee to 52.5 cents per square foot for the year, according to Patch.com. The council postponed the vote until Dec. 11 to make changes to the proposal regarding the issue of renting docks, insurance policies and requiring owners to indemnify the city.

An op-ed article in the Daily Pilot and written by Bob McCaffrey, who heads a group called Stop the Dock Tax, explained the planned boycott.

“We thoroughly understand the ramifications of this boycott on our business community, residents and visiting tourists,” McCaffrey wrote. “This is not a cavalier decision; we realize it will have an economic impact. This is a decision borne out of frustration with a city government that has chosen to treat its residents in a high-handed manner.”

“In protest of this unnecessary new tax we are turning off the holiday lights and pulling our boats out of the parade,” he wrote. “We already pay property tax on the value of our docks. The city receives a portion of this tax, but claims it needs more.”

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