Measure B                                                     2/3rds vote Water District Parcel Tax Continuation & Increase Santa Clara Valley Water District

Arguments Against    Argument For    Rebuttal Against     Rebuttal For    Analysis    Resolution

This is a continuation of a parcel tax that was created in 2000 (clean, safe creeks) that was extremely controversial. The tax currently effects property owners to the sum of approximately $54.00 per year. This tax is set to expire in 2016. The continuation of this tax will increase to $56.00 and increase each year by 3% until 2028. It is expected that this parcel tax will raise 548 million in 15 years. According to the Mercury News the money is marked for 3 projects, 201 million for flood control, 107 million to restore wildlife habitat, 48 million to seismic upgrades. That leaves 148 million for upgrades to drinking water plants, removal of homeless camps on their property and other unspecified programs. It is unclear at this time if the money will be available to the general fund that includes payroll.
Controversy
  • Since the “clean, Safe Creeks” measure first passed, the water district has been the subject of several important civil grand jury trials regarding- pay raises, high salaries, increased staffing, frivolous spending, no accountability or external audits, and candidates that have run for these offices have not reported thousands of dollars in campaign contributions from large corps like Cisco, Cargill, Applied Materials and Coyote Valley Research.
  • 2008-2009 Civil Grand Jury Conclusion - There have been reports since 2000, including two comprehensive audits, a budget review, state-wide reports on water districts, and proposed legislation, as well as two grand jury investigations, which all point out the spending and ethics abuses by the District over many years. All attribute these issues to a lack of oversight, transparency, and accountability. Given the critical mission of the District, the large sums of money involved, and the financial condition of the national, state, and local economies, it is imperative that these problems be solved.
  • There is no change in any of the requirements of the current spending or accountability if this measure passes.
  • There is growing concern that the water district is still not running efficiently as it should be. People are worried that there needs to be further review and accountability controls of the entire water district before more money is allocated to them.
Fiscal Impact
Water districts current annual budget is aprox 334 million
If this measure passes it will maintain this amount with a slight increase. If the measure doesn’t pass they will maintain this budget until 2016 when the parcel tax expires. Then revenues will drop aprox 36 million- About 10% overall.

 
Questions -
Are you in favor of continuing the parcel tax for another 15 years?


YES vote - slight increase in parcel tax

No vote - No change in current taxes. parcell tax will expire in 2016 - reducing your property tax about $54.00


News

 

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