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Measure X

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Measure X

Postby The Watcher » Tue Oct 02, 2012 6:18 am

Any thoughts on Measure X? I see it's for the parks and *only* $52/yr. *And* <wink-wink> will only go to the parks. Really?

Let's see $52 times 21,245 homes (source 2010 US Census data), that's $1,104,740 a year. And that's just the homes. I wonder if businesses would also be paying this tax? If so, add some more.

Doesn't that seem like a lot of additional money to maintain the parks we currently pay for in our property taxes? What's the current budget for Parks & Rec? Where is that money going that requires this additional cost to us?

Remember there's a difference between being nice, and being compentent. Wonder which one applies here?

Anyone have additional insight?
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Re: Measure X

Postby Petaluma Rosie » Tue Oct 02, 2012 7:42 am

Passing Measure X will benefit parks and recreation in Petaluma. It is $52 a year for 15 years for residential parcels. Commercial parcels will be taxed as well. Seniors can apply for an exemption and there is a Citizen's Oversight Committee to make sure the money is spent only on the 8 projects designated in the initiative. For more information, go to www.pfor.info where you can read more about Measure X, including the full text of the initiative. VOTE YES ON X!! :D
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Re: Measure X

Postby The Watcher » Tue Oct 02, 2012 8:06 am

Hi Rosie,

Thanks for your response. But I guess we have no idea where the existing money goes then right?

So based on your comment all parcel owners will be taxed. So the $1.1 million is really a lot higher. So why do we need (let's say) an additional $2 million dollars for our parks? What is currently budgeted?

I ask this because as an advocate for this tax I presume you had the same questions and got some answers?
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Re: Measure X

Postby mikeg55 » Tue Oct 02, 2012 9:38 am

I'm voting NO. I already have several parcel taxes added to my huge property tax bill and the Petaluma schools property tax just passed in the last election. I have kids. The current facilities look fine to me. I pay enough.
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Re: Measure X

Postby TJMack » Tue Oct 02, 2012 9:55 am

I'm voting YES. $52 a year is very reasonable. Mikeg55, have you looked at the Swim Center and seen how dowdy it is? Have you been inside the Community Center and seen the horrendous leaks on the roof/ceiling? Have you not seen the lack of maintenance at our parks? Have you seen Meadow Park (where they took out the play equipment)? And much much more.....
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Re: Measure X

Postby Chris Weber » Tue Oct 02, 2012 11:07 am

There was considerable discussion of this initiative a few months ago when it was first proposed.

This measure is earmarked for specific projects and in most cases, not for maintenance of existing facilities although there are some exceptions.

Petaluma property owners have an exceptionally high property tax burden as it is and further increases will add to the hardship for many.

The City has been lax in its priorities such as maintenance of streets and public facilities and notorious for using monies for purposes not intended.

In my opinion, the percentage of funds to be allocated to new projects by this initiative (East Washington Park, new hiking trails) vs. existing, unmaintaned facilities is inappropriate.

I object this measure on several levels and will be voting against it.
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Re: Measure X

Postby North Bay » Tue Oct 02, 2012 11:13 am

I am voting no on this as well. While I understand the need for these facilities, I do not trust our city government to use the funds as intended. The Yes on X people say that there will be an independent citizen oversight committee that will assure the funds are used as intended.

On their own website, it says "How do we know that either the city or the state won’t divert these funds for other uses. The Oversight Committee’s job is to make sure that this doesn’t happen. They will monitor the use of the funds very closely and, while they have no legal authority, they will have significant visibility and the power of public opinion."

The oversight committee has no power. That means to me that if the politicians want to take the money for other projects in a backroom deal, they can. NO THANK YOU!

Also from their website, "After these improvements are made, how will they be maintained? A portion of the tax proceeds will be used to purchase bonds to pay for some of the construction required with these projects. Some of the remaining revenue is earmarked for maintenance." Does that mean that only some of the improvements will be maintained? And for how long? What about the existing infrastructure that is already in great need of maintenance?

Again, until our government from the city level on up shows that they can responsibly manage the money they already have, I will not support another tax!
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Re: Measure X

Postby The Watcher » Tue Oct 02, 2012 3:16 pm

So here's a question for supporters:

The P&R folks here in Petaluma can't maintain existing fields/parks/swim centers. What happens when you build new ones? How will they be able to maintain them along with the others?

*If* this money is earmarked for existing maintenance then where's the existing money going?

*If* this money is earmarked for additional parks, etc. how will they maintain those if they can't maintain the existing ones?

I'm not trying to be a PITA, just wondering.
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Re: Measure X

Postby Longonptown » Wed Oct 03, 2012 11:20 am

I say vote no based on the way it was brought forward. Kind of undermines local government. What's next if this passes? We can't have citizens imposing taxes on everyone based on their recreational priorities. I could use a new roof, anybody ready to buck up?
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Re: Measure X

Postby DLoozional » Thu Oct 04, 2012 8:49 am

NO MORE TAXES UNTIL THEY STOP WASTING THE MONEY WE PAY NOW.

My property taxes are over $13k. I drive on roads that are in ruin. Services are being cut left and right. Where is the money going that we pay now? Show me something ... anything and I'll vote for more taxes. Until then, figure out how to do it with the money we already pay.

We need new parks. I totally get it. Our current parks are a shambles and in horrible repair. They are completely mismanaged. There is nothing that would lead me to believe these new parks won't end up the same way.

NO ON X AND EVERYTHING ELSE THAT TAKES ANY MORE MONEY OUT OF OUR POCKETS!!!
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