1% Land and Water Fund for San Diego County

       Proposed SAN DIEGO’S 1% Land and Water Fund                                           

Help Protect Land and Watersheds for San Diego County, CA

GOAL: To set aside 1% of San Diego County property taxes each year to purchase and maintain park lands, watersheds, open space and recreational land for San Diego County residents. This would not raise taxes, but require county supervisors to reallocate funds in the budget. 1% of real property taxes would be approximately $50 million each year. This should only require a majority vote of the people. Two attorneys have given their legal opinion: “a 66.67% majority is only required for a new or increased tax dedicated for a specific purpose. A measure to re-allocate revenues — without raising any additional taxes — should not require a 66.67% vote. A simple majority should suffice.”

Campaign Strategy: We are raising money to do a poll. After obtaining many letters of support and educating many voters we would ask the San Diego County Board of Supervisors to place a charter amendment on the 2016 ballot, to be approved by voters in San Diego County to set aside 1% of property taxes each year in the 1% Land and Water Fund and to seek matching funds, to protect, acquire and maintain:

  • Forests, beaches, coastal lands and areas of natural beauty
  • Watershed lands that preserve water quality and water supply
  • Parklands and open space;
  • Neighborhood parks and community gardens;
  • Historic or culturally-important land and sites;
  • Trails and access to beaches and mountains;
  • Natural resources, significant habitat and ecosystems (including buffer zones) and lands that support multi-species habitat conservation plans
  • Conservation Easements;
  • Land for easements for off –the- street bicycle lanes or mountain bike trails.

A NEW IDEA? NOT REALLY, there is a model program in Hawaii County where 2% of property taxes have been set-aside since 2006, with over 1,200+ acres purchased. A commission was formed to make land acquisition recommendations to the Mayor and Council. Each of the nine county council member (same as SD county supervisors) appoints a commission member. See the provision in the Hawaii County Code: Article 42: Public Access, Open Space and Natural Resources Commission: http://records.co.hawaii.hi.us/WebLink8/DocView.aspx?id=39747&dbid=1   Article 42, Section 2-215

HISTORY OF SIMILAR LEGISLATION IN HAWAII COUNTY: in Hawaii County (the entire Big Island of Hawaii), during the elections of 2006, 2010 and 2012, 65% of voters who voted on Open Space Fund ballot measures approved it. A total of 1,261 acres of land has been saved so far. Money spent, to date: approx. $32 million, with little over $6 million from matching funds and almost $25 million of taxpayer money. In Hawaii, the Save Our Lands Citizens’ Committee started with a few dedicated followers and ended up with an email list of over 3,000 people- about 10% of voters. Language used in the Hawaii County Charter, Section 10-15 as approved by voters in 2012 can be found at: http://records.co.hawaii.hi.us/WebLink8/DocView.aspx?id=64106&dbid=1

WE ARE LOOKING FOR SUPPORT FROM ORGANIZATIONS – CAN YOU SUGGEST A GROUP WHERE WE COULD SPEAK? WOULD YOU DONATE MONEY FOR A POLL? PLEASES PASS ON THIS INFORMATION SHEET TO A FRIEND.

Debbie Hecht,808-989-3222 or hecht.deb@gmail.com

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