The recent proposal to the County Board of Supervisors, to fund county regional parks, Sacramento County Regional Parks Strategic Workshop, was commented on by ARPPS in a press release yesterday, posted here and, also posted to our website.
For Immediate Release May 24, 2010 Sacramento, California
AMERICAN RIVER PARKWAY PRESERVATION SOCIETY (ARPPS)
REGIONAL PARKS TAX INCREASE PROPOSAL
A proposal was presented to the Sacramento County Board of Supervisors this month by the regional parks department, with support from some Parkway advocacy groups, to consider adopting one of three strategies to provide money for regional parks.
Each strategy calls for an increase in taxes requiring a two-thirds vote for approval.
Each strategy uses the American River Parkway as the lead park for the marketing of the tax increase for all regional parks.
While appreciating the concern the supporters of this proposal have for the Parkway, this is a direction that could actually cause more harm than good. Potentially, this could divert resources and attention from strategies which have a chance of becoming reality and promise more long term funding sustainability. There is a better way.
Raising taxes to pay for parks is not an equitable approach, as those who do not use parks, or realize an adjacent property benefit, would be required to pay an additional tax for something they do not use or benefit from.
Those who live adjacent to the North Sacramento area of the Parkway are already burdened by neighborhood crime and habitat degradation caused by the illegal camping of the homeless. These citizens will see no value in having their taxes increased to continue failed policies.
There is a better way, and it can be found in the funding success of other signature parks, such as the Central Park Conservancy and the Pittsburgh Parks Conservancy.
Seek support for the American River Parkway through the non-coercive method of philanthropy tied to nonprofit daily management and Joint Powers Authority governance. (see published article posted to blog)
Based on the deep love the regional community has for the Parkway, a philanthropic strategy offers more promise than a tax increase.
American River Parkway Preservation Society
May 24, 2010