City government

Citizens pass Measure D, renew parks tax

By From page A1 | June 06, 2012

In a result that may save city parks and greenspace from irreparable damage, 84.1 percent of Davis voters checked “yes” on Measure D on their ballots Tuesday, renewing the parks maintenance tax that pays for about a fourth of maintenance services in the city of Davis.

The measure — which, as a special tax, needed two-thirds voter approval — received 10,440 renewal votes and was passed by all precincts in Davis. A total of 1,980 people voted no.

At $49 per resident per year, the city generates approximately $1.36 million  that it dedicates to maintaining parks, pools, parking lots, graffiti abatement and myriad other services that keep the city’s parks in the condition to which residents have grown accustomed.

Should the measure have failed, the City Council would have been forced to make cuts to numerous city services, likely from several departments within City Hall.

City Manager Steve Pinkerton said last month that if the voting public did not renew the parks maintenance tax, the city’s parks would have been permanently worsened.

The measure brings along with it a six-year sunset, meaning that in six years Davis voters may have another opportunity to renew the tax.

However, Recreation and Parks Commission members have said in recent months that while passing the parks tax this year is important, simply renewing a tax without accounting for inflation will not fully care for the city’s parks in the future. The $49 rate hasn’t been increased since 1998.

The commission had recommended to the City Council in December to place a $75 tax on the ballot, but the council opted to keep the measure as a straight renewal to help ensure its passage.

— Reach Tom Sakash at [email protected] or (530) 747-8057. Follow him on Twitter @TomSakash

Tom Sakash

Tom Sakash covers the city beat for The Davis Enterprise. Reach him at [email protected], (530) 747-8057 or @TomSakash.
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