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Precarious finances

Carmel Pine Cone – Aug. 29, 2009

Dear Editor,

The $24 million drop in property values at Carmel Valley Ranch
from its recent sale means other hotels will soon be reassessed
downward. Add this reality to the nearly $3 million deficit of the
Carmel Valley Fire Protection District, the non-budgeted
$500,000 for the MSTS, not to mention the removal of Tehama
from the boundaries of the proposed Carmel Valley Incorporation,
and the whole kit and caboodle called a “town” could be broke.
Economic Research Associates has repeatedly warned Monterey
County and LAFCO of this reality. (These dire projections will be
submitted to the Monterey County Supervisors in an upcoming
public hearing.)

Suggesting that Carmel Valley is a “cash cow” is not the
least bit accurate. The proposed Town of Carmel Valley could
not keep its doors open beyond a few months with property
taxes. It would be precariously dependent on TOT revenues
from Carmel Mission Inn, Carmel Valley Ranch and Quail
Lodge for its viability. Even this declining revenue could not
prop-up a city for long. If either business were to close its
doors or change its business model, this three-legged cow
(sales tax, TOT and property tax) would certainly collapse,
particularly adding the weight of Carmel Valley’s 144 lane
miles of decaying roads.

This tourist-generated revenue is the reason for the hostile
takeover of the mouth of the valley. But revenues generated
from Carmel Mission Inn are no more Glenn Robinson’s,
who lives twelve miles away, than Bernardus Lodge’s TOT is
mine. Herein lies the problem: This city, if approved by voters,
would be “heavily dependent on TOT and sales tax.”

Considering the significant decline in all sources of
municipal revenues and a grossly underfunded “town” budget,
this proposed city would be in perpetual search for revenue-
generating growth. NO on Measure “G” means NO on
city growth, No on tourism-promotion and No on mandated
city housing!

Robert A. Sinotte, Carmel Valley

Last Updated: Aug 28, 09

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