Byline: Ambrosia Brody
DANA POINT — Boaters are invited to participate in a tax workshop and a forum, made available to them by two nonprofit organizations dedicated to boater advocacy in the harbor.
Boaters Tax Workshop
Boaters 4 Dana Point Harbor will host a Boaters’ Tax Workshop on Wednesday, Sept. 11, to assist Orange County boat owners through the Possessory Interest (PI) Tax and Boat Evaluation Tax appeals process.
The PI Tax was originally rolled into local boat owners’ marina slip fees that were paid to private marina operators, but that changed several years ago when the county took over marina operations. The slip fees remained the same, but the tax was no longer included. PI Tax bills were subsequently distributed to boaters separately from the slip fee.
Many boat owners now believe they are being double-taxed.
“While it is important for boaters to pay our fees and taxes, there is absolutely no reason why we should have to pay the extremely high prices we do,” Boaters 4 Dana Point Harbor president Bruce Heyman said in a recent blog post. “These costs are far in excess of the costs associated with running the harbor.”
The taxes are in addition to slip fees and dry stack storages fees.
The group reported that it recently assisted a boater through the boat valuation process for tax purposes, and the boater had his assessment reduced from $100,000 to $40,000. That 60-percent reduction reportedly occurred after the group helped the boater better understand the process.
Boaters 4 Dana Point members will explain the PI tax process in detail during the workshop, to help boat owners understand the process. “In this case, Boaters 4 Dana Point Harbor is willing to represent any boater who wishes us to do so in front of the Appeals Board,” according to the group.
PI Tax is due Sept. 3. The appeals hearing is scheduled for Oct. 1
Boaters 4 Dana Point Harbor won a reduction and rebate check for boaters that the group represented at the last PI Tax hearing.
The Boaters Tax Workshop will be held on at 7 p.m. Sept. 11 at Dana West Yacht Club. RSVP to Bruce Heyman by emailing BruceHeyman@cox.net.
Boater Liaison Program
Dana Point Harbor users can provide their input and get answers to their questions surrounding harbor issues through the Dana Point Boaters Association (DPBA) Boater Liaison Program. The group recently welcomed submissions for the second round of the initiative, which provides Dana Point Harbor boaters a forum to ask questions of public officials and agencies, make suggestions and share their views.
Boaters submit a question, suggestion or issue of concern through the association’s website, and then DBPA board members take those concerns and ideas to the appropriate agencies for their consideration and response. The board then communicates that response to the submitter and to the association at large.
In its first round, the Boater Liaison Program tackled issues ranging from a request for Wi-Fi service in the harbor to questions about how the slip waitlist is managed, the Harbor Revitalization Plan and harbor finances.
“The first round of our Boater Liaison Program was successful at publicly addressing many important issues affecting our Dana Point boating community — which faces a challenging and transformative next few years, as the harbor embarks on its Revitalization Plan,” said James Lenthall, DPBA vice president.
The Boater Liaison Program was established in May. The DPBA board stated, “We see this as an ongoing boater advocacy program that will continue as long as our Dana Point boaters have questions, concerns, suggestions and ideas for harbor management.”
The Boater Liaison program was launched with the intent of improving boater satisfaction and advocacy in the harbor.
Questions submitted after Aug. 21 will be considered for the third round of the program. To submit a question, visit danapointboaters.org.