FIRE & FAIRNESS
Marin County Parks’ and Open Space Measure A, One-Quarter Cent Sales Tax Renewal, will be on the ballot in June 2022. CO$T has been an ongoing, strong advocate for reducing the local risk of wildfire through more robust and fiscally-efficient public spending on removing excess fire-prone vegetation. Working in concert with local city council members, fire professionals, county Parks staff and county supervisors, CO$T successfully negotiated improvements in the Measure A renewal ballot language. The final proposal features increased funding for Open Space fire fuel reduction and specific language ensuring that the money be spent on fire fuel reduction crews. Without this, CO$T was prepared to oppose renewal of the tax measure that helps fund County Parks, Open Space, City Parks, and agricultural grants on private landowners in west Marin. The improvements we achieved, though significantly less than we had hoped for in total funding, should result in more fire fuel reduction on Open Space acreage where fire professionals fear that a wildfire could escape into Marin communities.
Nonetheless, CO$T continues to have reservations about Measure A, and as such leave it up to voters to decide for themselves whether to support the tax renewal.
Our reservations are:
(1) CO$T opposes sales taxes in general as unfairly regressive;
(2)CO$T, Marin County Fire Chiefs, and the public at large have all wanted a larger percentage of measure A funds devoted to fire prevention spending;
(3) We are dismayed that Measure A commits a much larger dollar amount in grants to private agricultural landowners on whose land taxpayers aren’t welcome. This is a real issue of fairness and equity that violates CO$T’s Sensible Tax Criteria.
EXPERTISE; Help Wanted, Brain Trust, and an Important Passing
CO$T is building out its team so we can meet the growing demands for our involvement in local watchdog, oversight, and taxpayer issues.
We need volunteers to monitor local agency meeting agendas. If you value our work, please step up to help in this small but vital way. Contact us! Monitoring the agendas for one local city council, school board or agency takes less than one hour per month and does not require specialized skills. Just read the agenda, skim the staff reports, and give us the heads up as to whether there’s something that CO$T needs to take a look at. Without this help, things slip by that could benefit from our attention.
CO$T Brain Trust – Coming Soon! Join our Team! CO$T will soon be unveiling our new Brain Trust, a cadre of experts contributing their time and skills to discrete projects. Brain Trust members are folks who have specialized expertise (e.g., financial analysis, technology and web skills, legal, etc.) or a passion for a particular topic/issue (e.g., tax and rate fairness, water, fire, transportation, transparency). Join our impressive group of community leaders who have already committed. This is a great way for talented individuals to contribute a moderate amount of time and make a huge difference. Contact us today to learn more!