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Santa Barbara County Grand Jury Looks At Harbor Operations

Is a South Coast harbor sailing away with extra fees, and tax dollars from people using its slips? Some Santa Barbara Harbor users asked the Santa Barbara County Grand Jury to investigate. The boaters were concerned that they were being charged slip transfer fees, monthly rent, and county property taxes, even though the slips are city property.

The Grand Jury says it discovered the property tax fees are legal, because by renting the slip, they have exclusive use of the facility, and are liable for unsecured property taxes. The Grand Jury also looked at concerns that more people than permitted might be live-aboards on craft anchored in the harbor.

But, their investigation finds the number appears to be well below the 460 plus people which is actually allowable. The report says Santa Barbara’s Waterfront Department is operating well within state law, and its own policies.