Saturday, May 21, 2011

Tax Increase for Regional Parks

There are so many reasons why a tax increase, touted in the Sacramento Bee, is a terrible idea and in our recent article we noted two, but here are a few more questions.

If it is truly a 'regional' parks tax, then the entire region using the parks needs to also vote, which would bring in El Dorado, Placer & Yolo counties.

If it is truly a 'regional' parks tax, then why are virtually all the articles focusing on the American River Parkway? Answer, because it is the only true regional park that attracts visitors from beyond the immediate area still subject to the county parks department mismanagement, Gibson Ranch having been wisely transferred to effective management.

How can we expect any better management from the new entity—which will almost certainly be a staff transfer of the existing entity to the new—to justify an increase of taxes?

How can we guarantee that the new funds raised from a tax increase will not just result in a decrease in support from existing funding sources?

Finally, there are serious questions being raised about the survey results quoted in the Bee article, which said a substantial majority favor the new taxes.

These results, considering the history of recent local tax increase voting (which failed widely) is highly questionable.

Since the survey results are being proposed as a reason for public leaders to make a decision, the details about the survey should be made available (routine in public surveys) which to this point they have not been.

This is a lack of transparency which should, in itself, always raise questions.