[Supv. Antonovich] – In a just-released report requested by Mayor Michael D. Antonovich and Supervisor Mark Ridley-Thomas, the county counsel revealed that approximately $162 million in available Proposition A funds can be spent without state legislation. The report determined that no State or County regulations exist that would prevent the Board of Supervisors from dispersing any of the available Proposition A funds.
“Voters were wise enough to reject Proposition P’s tax increase, despite being told by the bureaucrats and some newspaper editorials, that there was not enough money for parks and open space projects – and that access to any funding would require the passage of new state and county laws. This was untrue.” Further, the measure was developed without the vital input of our communities and town councils, gave little notice to the public, and lacked a complete study as to need and purpose.
In August, the Board of Supervisors, on a 3-2 vote with Supervisors Antonovich and Ridley-Thomas dissenting, voted to approve placing a proposition on the ballot in November that would levy a $23-per-parcel property tax on county residents to generate approximately $54 million a year over the next 30 years. In November, Proposition P failed to meet the two-thirds vote needed to pass.
“Parks are a vital component in enhancing the quality of life for our county residents. However, voters should not be rushed into saddling themselves with billions of dollars in taxes,” Antonovich added. “Before burdening county residents with additional taxes, the County needs to determine what funds are currently available and how best to meet the needs of county residents. We need a comprehensive plan to spend existing unallocated revenues and a proposal specifying the need for additional revenue – that is what the voters and taxpayers deserve.”
Antonovich will introduce a motion in January directing the Chief Executive Officer to identify park needs and provide funding recommendations.