Sunday, July 21, 2024

Taxes on Short-Term Rentals Shot Down, Sherwood Road Emergency Routes Approved, Covelo’s Indian Days a Success—3rd District Supervisor John Haschak’s Monthly Update


The following is a monthly letter written by Mendocino County’s 3rd District Supervisor John Haschak to constituents:

[Picture provided by Supervisor Haschak]

My agenda item to increase short term rental taxes was shot down. Special interests didn’t want any kind of increase even though the County is in financial difficulties and the tax would have fallen for the most part on those who live outside the County and come to stay in vacation rentals. 

Sales taxes fall heavily on locals, and they are very regressive taxes hurting those who can least afford them. In the meantime, I continue to support work being done to create greater efficiencies, collect the revenue due the County, and eliminate unnecessary costs. All ideas are welcome.

The Board approved moving ahead with Sherwood Road emergency access routes. This will allow the residents of Brooktrails and the other subdivisions to vote on whether they want to pay an annual assessment (probably $30) to maintain the Firco Road and Willits Creek Trail for emergency purposes. This will allow fuel reduction projects, basic road maintenance, and other projects so that the roads are ready for emergencies. Much appreciation to the Sherwood Firewise Council for all their persistent efforts.

Indian Days celebration in Covelo was a great success. Nicole Mann, the first Native American woman in space, received the proclamation from the County declaring Sept. 23 as Nicole Mann Day in Mendocino County. She is a member of the Round Valley Indian Tribes. Her talk with the community was inspiring, heartfelt, and informative. She took questions from young kids and others from the community. Commander Mann was able to connect with everyone in the audience. It was a blessing to the community to have her make the trip back home.

Talk with the Supervisor is the 2nd Thursday of the month at 10:00 at the Brickhouse Coffee in Willits. I am available by email haschakj@mendocinocounty.org or phone 707-972-4214.

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  1. One wonders who these “special interests” are precisely, and how they managed to shoot down the short-term rental tax increase proposal. That would be a good story to pursue. In the context of the county budget and the housing situation, the time for something like it has certainly arrived.

    • No “special interests” here! We have two vacation rental properties here on our ranch. It is our only income other than Social Security, so who ever thinks it’s a good idea to add more taxes is an idiot!

      • TOT is paid by the renter not owner so it is not new taxes to you, it’s a pass through like Sales tax but rather than paid by all it is paid by the tourist renting the house. It does not take away from housing it increases the tax paid by tourists on already existing rentals.

      • I agree with UT. The short term rentals are causing a sizable part of the problem for regular housing. The BOS should raise the taxes on short term rentals and treat it like they would for any hotel room.

  2. Brenda just proved Izzy’s point. Saturation of short term rentals is contributing to less housing available for locals or folks who want to fill open job positions on the market.

    Short term rentals should have to pay a similar tax rate to the hotel industry in Mendocino.

  3. County needs to look at unpaid TOT/BID especially those big offenders many years delinquent. Check out Mr Campovida/Thatcher Hotel/Piazza all his rentals as they go unpaid/unreported for years.

    Just this one owner would have major impact on county budget due to penalties and interest for unpaid years. Isn’t it a crime to keep the tax and not pay it to the county?

    Why does #VisitMendocino still advertise for them knowing their BID is unpaid? VM receives reports for unpaid operators and should not advertise for them if not current.

    Why does RMAC offer/entertain the idea of selling the Redwood Valley school to a person with delinquent taxes. County/schools should vet all potential purchasers of county property that their local taxes are paid on owned/operated properties.

    A nominal tax increase in TOT is needed! It will not harm housing, going from 10 to 12% would make a $2 difference to the tourist per $100 nightly rate. That will not stop tourists from coming or make it too costly to travel.

    If you are concerned about housing then limit/stop any new business license for rentals though planning and building and update regulations/ordinances which has nothing to do with a TOT tax increase.

    • Campovida/Thatcher Hotel/Piazza – Add the Cannabis distribution site next to Costco too. These belong to Gary Breen. He fell off the radar in his personal property taxes for all of his businesses for a number of years in the assessors office. He was recently brought back on with updated LLC information and a disgruntled/rebellious phone call after many letters sent to his faux mailing addresses.

        • It really comes down to who is enforcing the TOT collections. Mendo’s high turnover of staff and dubious mgmt practices allow guys like this to slide by.

          • Oh if we are placing blame on others for his theft then you are exactly right about management. County Counsel lack of teeth, follow through and competency, failing to support the department to bring a civil suit. Added with Mendo elite being in bed with this guy financially and on previous boards with him and his wife. His pyramid schemes live on untouched. He needs to be prosecuted or a civil suit filed at minimum. Hashask I hope you follow along here and dig deeper. Enforce this one and you will immediately impact your budget.

            • Overall, I agree with you. There are many layers to the county’s dysfunction though not solely the gov’t. It will be interesting to see what we find in the state audit due to unreported financial documents. I tend to think that each capable region should form incorporated city charters, like in Ukiah, or Fort Bragg. It steers influence and resources away from the BOS and the county. Sales, property, and TOT taxes could go to the city agencies instead of solely the county. You would have better luck influencing your city council person than a BOS member to fix streets/sidewalks, culverts and pot holes. This assumes that each region has the resources and cooperation from the locals to incorporate as a city agency.


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MendoFever Staff
MendoFever Staff
Editor's Note: Whenever an article's byline reads "MendoFever Staff", the contents of that article were not composed by any of our reporters. Types of writing that will be attributed to "MendoFever Staff" include press releases, letters to the editor, op-eds, obituaries— essentially writing that is not produced by a reporter.

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