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June 27, 2022

Desert Recreation District in Cathedral City

The City of Cathedral City is considering joining the Desert Recreation District. Doing the same in Desert Hot Springs has been discussed occasionally. The main drawback for Desert Hot Springs is that some form of additional tax would have to be levied to pay for it. Cathedral City is considering a new property tax to pay for it, according to this article in The Desert Sun, but in keeping with the usual deadhead standards at the newspaper, the article doesn't really tell us what the tax rate would be.

Cathedral City is preparing to have voters decide whether to impose the tax — which would be 15 cents per square foot on single-family residential units — in the Nov. 8 election.

"15 cents per square foot on single-family residential units." Assuming this is a complete and accurate description of the tax, I would take that to mean SFRs would be taxed at 15¢/s.f. of inhabitable space (of course); and that in multi-family buildings it would be applied to the square footage of the residential units themselves, excluding common areas; and that commercial and industrial properties would be exempt. But that would be a difficult tax to sell and to assess. So I went digging into the agenda for the city council of Cathedral City and, quelle surprise, that is not how the tax would be assessed.

Here are the facts, which were just too, too difficult for a Desert Sun reporter to research:
Proposed tax rates for Desert Recreation District in Cathedral City
These actual proposed rates look to be more fair and palatable than the Desert Sun story led me to believe
. Now I wonder why a condo unit will have to pay $24 more than a rental unit. Do condo residents use more recreation facilities than residents of rented apartments?

TL;DR: The Desert Sun continues to suck badly. If you want to know what's happening in your city government, you need to watch your city council meetings (at least).

Filed under Coachella Valley | permalink | June 27, 2022 at 08:39 AM


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