Commercial property owners in La Jolla have filed a lawsuit against the City of San Diego in an attempt to undo a newly-approved taxing authority designed to spruce up local streets and sidewalks.
The lawsuit filed in San Diego Superior Court claims that the city has fallen short in providing general maintenance of La Jolla’s coastal business district, forcing taxpayers to take matters into their own hands.
In November, 56 percent of voters approved creation of the La Jolla maintenance assessment district, a legal mechanism that allows residents to tax themselves and fund additional maintenance in their area through outsourced vendors.
Single-family homeowners will pay $87 a year, and the cost to owners of apartments and commercial property will vary by square footage.
Former City Attorney Michael J. Aguirre, who is representing a dissident group of property owners, said the district violates California law because it’s collecting funds for several services taxpayers already pay the city to deliver.
“If the city is providing the base level of maintenance, then taxpayers can legally create a district to go above and beyond that,” Aguirre said. “What you can’t do is re-tax people for the same service they’re already supposed to be getting.”
According to the San Diego charter, the city has an “obligation and responsibility” to provide various services to its residents, including regular…
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