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November 8, 2016 — California General Election
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— Special Tax For Parks, Open Space And Coastal Preservation —

Special District
November 8, 2016 —California General Election

Monterey Peninsula Regional Park District
Measure E - 2/3 Approval Required

To learn more about measures, follow the links for each tab in this section. For most screenreaders, you can hit Return or Enter to enter a tab and read the content within.

Election Results

Passed

39,085 votes yes (71.88%)

15,293 votes no (28.12%)

  • 100% of precincts reporting (65/65).
  • 54,378 ballots counted.

To protect local open space, coastal lands, beaches, creeks, rivers, wildlife habitat, and natural beauty of our area; maintain/ improve neighborhood parks, trails, playgrounds; and increase recreational access to natural areas; shall Monterey Peninsula Regional Park District replace an expiring assessment, currently $25.26/ year for single-family homes with related rates for other property types, with a parcel tax at the same annual rates, providing $1,200,000 (before inflation) annually until ended by voters, with mandatory audits, citizens oversight?

Impartial analysis / Proposal

Approval of this measure will authorize the Monterey Peninsula Regional Park District to levy a special parcel tax to replace an expiring assessment, but using the same annual rates. The tax levy will continue at $25.26 per year on single-family homes with related rates for other taxable property types. The tax would be levied within a community facilities district ("CFD") that encompasses the same boundaries as the Park District.

The Park District is a public agency, separate from the County or any city, which was formed by Monterey County voters in 1972 to specifically protect open space and provide recreational opportunities in the Monterey Peninsula. The Park District is governed by a locally elected Board of Directors.

The purposes of the Park District are to acquire, preserve, protect, restore, enhance and maintain parks, open spaces, trails, wildlife areas, creeks and streams, shorelines, and watershed lands in rural and urban areas throughout the Monterey Peninsula. To facilitate its purposes, the Park District recently fonned the CFD.

The tax shall be collected annually through the County of Monterey property tax bill in the same manner as the County property taxes are collected, and subject to the same penalties. The proceeds of the tax shall be deposited into a separate account for the exclusive use of the Park District for the specified purposes, which include the acquisition, maintenance, improvement, lighting and security of land and open space, parks, parkways, trails, basins, drainage corridors, landscape corridors, wetlands and open space areas, and any incidental expenses. A citizen oversight committee will develop the Park District's annual report to the Board showing the amount of funds collected and expended, and the status of any projects required or authorized to be funded from the Tax.

This measure was placed on the ballot by the Board of Directors of the District. The tax proposed to be levied is a special tax as defined by the state constitution and statute. This measure requires a two-thirds (2/3) vote of the electorate for passage.

A "yes" vote on this measure is a vote in favor of the District levying a parcel tax for the purposes set forth in the full-text of the measure.

A "no" vote on this measure is a vote against the District levying a parcel tax for the purposes set forth in the full-text of the measure.

Arguments FOR

Vote YES on Measure E to protect our area's incredible beaches, rivers, coastal areas, open space and wildlife habitat for future generations.

Measure E renews and continues — at the same rates — vital open space funding to protect beaches, parks, wildlife habitat and natural areas in Seaside, Marina, Monterey, Pacific Grove, Carmel and throughout the Carmel Valley and Big Sur Coast.

Our region is home to some of the world's most beautiful landscapes, pristine beaches and stunning views, integral to our high quality of life on the Monterey Peninsula.

We owe it to our children and grandchildren to vote YES on E to protect and preserve these natural areas so that future generations can experience nature the same way we do. Measure E supports playgrounds and educational programs to promote children's physical health and well­being, more important than ever in today's digital age.

Measure E supports well used hiking, walking and biking trails, like the Monterey Bay Coastal Trail and protects and maintains the habitat of our area's rich array of birds, animals and marine life.

YES on E Protect Scenic Beauty for Future Generations

·                  Maintain water quality in rivers, creeks and streams

·                  Permanently preserve beaches and natural coastal areas

·                  Permanently protect our area's remaining redwood and Monterey pine forests

·                  Protect marine, bird and wildlife habitat

·                  Preserve natural areas and open space

·                  Provide more educational and recreational programs for children

Every single penny would support parks and open space here on the Monterey Peninsula, nothing could be taken by the State. An independent Citizens Oversight Committee would continue to review the use of these funds to ensure they are spent as promised

Join environmental leaders, families and the business community in voting YES on Measure E and preserving the natural beauty of our area for generations to come.

Campaign Website – http://ParksandOpenSpace.org

Proponents who signed argument in favor:

City of Marina, Bruce Delgado, Mayor

Monterey County Business Council, Mary Ann Leffel, President

Ventana Wildlife Society, Elizabeth Panetta, Chair

Monterey County Supervisor, Jane Parker, Chair

Big Sur Land Trust, Jeanette Tuitele-Lewis, President/CEO

Arguments AGAINST

Parks are one of the joys of life. We think so also.

But in 2016, we OPPOSE the new special tax for our Park District.

In 2004 the Monterey Peninsula Taxpayers Association supported a special tax for our Park District to buy, improve, and maintain parkland.

Have you been to the land that your Park District bought with your money in re­cent years? Have you submitted an "Access Permit Application" to the Park Dis­trict for the privilege of treading on some of it?

Officials who run the Park District need to start spending our tax money on the recreational needs of ordinary people like us.

For example, the Park District should pay the $20 million cost of creating the Fort Ord Rec Trail and Greenway (FORTAG). That seems obvious: it's a park!

Instead, the Transportation Agency for Monterey County is left to pay for it, as if it were a highway.

Meanwhile, the Park District spends our money buying up land we'll probably never see.

There are other concerns for those of us who pay taxes to our Park District.

According to the Transparent California website database, the Park District general manager who retired in 2010 collected a pension of more than $177,000 in 2015. In four years his total pension payout was about $694,000. That's a lot!

Finally, in 2015 the Park District awarded two no-bid contracts totaling $80,000 to a San Francisco campaign consulting firm to prepare for this tax measure. If you are a registered voter, you received a glossy four-page full-color mail piece about the tax in July. Those contracts and that mail was paid for by you, the taxpayer!

Compel your Park District to clean up its act. Vote NO on Measure E.

Ron Pasquinelli

President

Monterey Peninsula Taxpayers Association    

Replies to Arguments FOR

Vote NO on Measure E.

 

In their argument for taxes, the Park District uses lots of fine words. But that's all they have. The Park District uses your tax money to buy land far from where most Peninsula residents live.

Our families and our children can't easily enjoy those remote parks. Our involvement with those parks is mostly limited to paying for them.

Meanwhile, our county's TRANSPORTATION AGENCY - not our Park District - will pay the bills to build and maintain a park that most of us could easily use. The Fort Ord Rec Trail and Greenway (FORTAG) is 30 miles of planned recreational trails and greenways that connect open space.

FORTAG is a perfect project for our Park District. It's where we live! It can be easily used for recreation.

But transportation taxes - not park taxes - are being designated to build FORTAG. The Park District instead wastes our tax money on land very few of us will ever use.

The Monterey Peninsula Taxpayers Association recommends you Vote NO on Measure E.

Ron Pasquinelli

President

Monterey Peninsula Taxpayers Association

Replies to Arguments AGAINST



Measure E protects water quality and preserves natural areas for the next generation.

We owe it to our children and grandchildren to leave them with the same beautiful environment that we inherited.

Measure E supports outdoor educational programs to keep our children happy and healthy.

Every community deserves to have access to parklands and open space with no entrance fees. MPRPD is committed to expanding access to existing parks and creating new parks for people throughout our region.

Strict accountability continues MPRPD's tradition of fiscal responsibility.

Measure E includes the necessary accountability to ensure that every penny supports parks and open space. An independent Citizens Oversight Committee will continue to strictly monitor the use of these funds. To read the Committee's detailed reports to local taxpayers, visit http://tinyurl.corn/CitizensOversight.

Measure E protects our parks without increasing your taxes!

Measure E is a great deal. It continues vital park funding at the current rate, less than $2.50 per month for world-famous views and open space right in our backyard.

Let's protect our region's most critical natural resources. Join us in voting Yes on E.

ParksandOpenSpace.org

Rebuttal to Argument Against signers:

R. Stephen Bloch, Veteran

Wendy Root Askew, MPUSD Board Member

Proposed legislation

MONTEREY PENINSULA REGIONAL PARK DISTRICT
SPECIAL TAX FOR PARKS, OPEN SPACE AND COASTAL PRESERVATION

The Monterey Peninsula Regional Park District (the “District”) is a public agency, separate from the County or any city, which was formed by Monterey County voters in 1972 to specifically protect open space and provide recreational opportunities in the Monterey Peninsula. Since 1972, the District has helped to protect over 13,000 acres of parks, recreational areas and open space lands and helped create the Monterey Bay Coastal Trail.
The purpose of the District is to acquire, preserve, protect, restore, enhance and maintain parks, open spaces, trails, wildlife areas, creeks and streams, shorelines, and watershed lands in rural and urban areas throughout the Monterey Peninsula. 
In order to continue providing these services, the District proposes to replace the existing benefit assessment with a special tax on each taxable parcel of land within the District at the same annual rates as the expiring benefit assessment. The rates for the first year are as follows:
Tax Zone A


Land Use Classification 

Base Year Maximum Tax

Developed Single Family Residential

$25.26 per Residential Unit

Developed Multi-family Residential, including Mobile Home Parks

$11.62 per Residential Unit up to 20 units, then $2.53 for every unit thereafter

Developed Condominium Residential

$20.46 per Residential Unit

Developed Mobile Home on Separate Lot

$13.89 per Residential Unit

Developed Commercial/Industrial Property

$12.63 per Fraction Acre or portion thereof up to 5 acres, then $12.63 per Acre or portion thereof for every Acre thereafter

Developed Office Property

$35.87 per Fraction Acre or portion thereof up to 5 acres, then $35.87 per Acre or portion thereof for every Acre thereafter

Developed Self-Storage/Parking Lot Property

$0.53 per Fraction Acre

Vacant Property

$12.63 per Parcel

Tax-Exempt Property

$0

 

 

Tax Zone B


Land Use Classification 

Base Year Maximum Tax

Developed Single Family Residential

$12.63 per Residential Unit

Developed Multi-family Residential, including Mobile Home Parks

$5.81 per Residential Unit up to 20 units, then $1.26 for every unit thereafter

Developed Condominium Residential

$10.23 per Residential Unit

Developed Mobile Home on Separate Lot

$6.95 per Residential Unit

Developed Commercial/Industrial Property

$6.32 per Fraction Acre or portion thereof up to 5 acres, then $6.32 per Acre or portion thereof for every Acre thereafter

Developed Office Property

$17.93 per Fraction Acre or portion thereof up to 5 acres, then $17.93 per Acre or portion thereof for every Acre thereafter

Developed Self-Storage/Parking Lot Property

$0.27 per Fraction Acre

Vacant Property

$6.32 per Parcel

Tax-Exempt Property

$0

This special tax will ensure the continued protection of local open space, coastal lands, beaches, creeks, rivers, wildlife habitat, and natural beauty of our area as well as maintain/improve neighborhood parks, trails, playgrounds and increase recreational access to natural areas. 
The special tax revenue shall be allocated by the following percentage; 70% of the annual special tax revenue generated within the CFD shall be allocated to costs of Services provided while the remaining 30% of special tax revenue shall be allocated to costs of Facilities. 
To ensure these revenues keep pace with the cost of providing these services, the special tax may be adjusted each fiscal year in an amount equal to the percentage increase in the Consumer Price Index for All Urban Consumers in the San Francisco-Oakland-San Jose metropolitan area (CPI-U) as published by the U.S. Department of Labor, Bureau of Labor Statistics; provided, however, that the portion of the revenue generated from the special taxes that is allocated to Facilities shall not be increased by more than two percent (2%) in any single year, and the portion of the revenue generated from the special taxes that is allocated to Services shall not be increased by more than three percent (3%) in any single year. Under no circumstances can the adjustment be enacted without the proposed modification being placed on the agenda of a Monterey Peninsula Regional Park District Board of Directors regular meeting providing for public input and discussion.  
If approved by the voters, the District’s appropriations limit will be increased by the amount of this voter-approved tax.
The revenue shall be deposited into a separate account for the District, in accordance with Government Code Section 50075.1, and shall be expended according to a plan developed annually, and approved and adopted by the Monterey Peninsula Regional Park District Board of Directors (the “Board”). A citizens oversight committee appointed by the Board will review and report on the expenditures.
The District will file an annual report with its Board, which shall comply with the accountability measures established in Government Code Sections 50075.1, et seq.
Any owner assessed may appeal the determination concerning the nature of use of the property or the calculation of the tax by filing a notice of appeal with the District. Any appeal shall be filed by April 10 of the year for which the tax is levied. 

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