Saturday, July 18, 2009

Special Districts & the Parkway JPA

One of the great uncertainties about the long term goal (to create a special benefit assessment district) of the recently approved Joint Powers Authority (JPA) by the Sacramento Country Parks Commission, is that the money it collects from the new property taxes it could impose, are not safe from state raids during trying financial times, as this article from the Sacramento Bee notes.

Funds collected philanthropically through the nonprofit conservancy we propose the JPA create—see our press release—would however, be completely safe.

An excerpt from the Bee article.

"Bolstering state coffers with local government funds would replace revenue lost by killing proposals to hike taxes on cigarettes, impose an oil extraction tax and raise vehicle registration fees to bankroll state parks.

"A three-pronged revenue package totaling more than $4 billion this year from cities, counties and special districts is the acknowledged choice within budget negotiations, according to multiple sources familiar with the talks.

"Senate Republican leader Dennis Hollingsworth is pushing an alternative idea, involving borrowing against redevelopment funds, but it likewise involves local government.

"Aaron McLear, Schwarzenegger's spokesman, declined comment Thursday.

"Jean Hurst, lobbyist for the California State Association of Counties, said recession has taken a huge toll, and local governments would be hard-pressed to shoulder a heavier load.

"If we're talking about all three components, I think 'devastating' is not a strong enough word to describe how it will affect local government," she said.

"The three-pronged revenue package from local governments consists of:

"• Borrowing $1.9 billion in property taxes from cities, counties and special districts. Under voter-approved Proposition 1A, the money would have to be repaid within three years."