Newport Beach City Council to review harbor fees and rent for harbor department

Back in July 2017 Newport Beach forged a municipal harbor department, which served to take over managing harbor operations from Orange County Sheriff’s Department. Since then the city has been active about implementing some changes and one on the agenda has been consulting on fee updates.

The harbor commission, in August 2018, made recommendations after reviewing a study by consultant MGT of America to update fee and rent costs. Newport Beach Finance Committee reviewed the proposed harbor fees at the end of November 2018 and suggested they be brought before the City Council.

In the staff report, new fees for the fiscal year were estimated at $16,000, Marina Park slips would be increased by $68,000 from last year, and guest moorings would be raised from the previous year by nearly $374,000.

More details can be found at

Council members voted unanimously to bring talks on the subject of harbor department fees and rents back at the next meeting slated for Jan. 22. Council member Marshall “Duffy” Duffield recused himself due to conflict of interest because of his businesses.

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One thought on “Newport Beach City Council to review harbor fees and rent for harbor department

  • January 27, 2019 at 1:58 pm

    According to California state law, there are only three ways governments can take in money:
    – taxes
    – fees
    – fines

    We can all agree that slip costs are not fines.

    However, according to California law, they are most certainly not fees, as fees have a direct corresponding cost associated with them. If you have to get your business inspected by the city and they pay someone $50/hr to check it out and it takes them 2 hours to do it, then you would be assessed a $100 fee.

    If it took that $50/hr person two hours and you were charged $500– or even $101– that is no longer a fee, according to California state law, because the purpose isn’t to recoup direct costs, it is to raise revenue. Then, the cost turns into a tax.

    The purpose of the raising of these costs is NOT a fee, because it is designed to raise revenue. This is a tax increase, and it would be greatly appreciated if the Log could appropriately report proposed tax increases as actual tax increases, rather than reporting that tax increases are “fees”.



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