Important Information about Measure A: Protect Marin Parks, Open Space and Farmland
In 1972, citizens in Marin passed Measure A “for the acquisition of open space, park or recreation lands and the development, operation or maintenance of open space, park or recreation lands so acquired.” The newly created Marin County Open Space District was added to our local park system and today, what we know as Marin County Parks, manages over 20,000 acres of local parks and preserves enjoyed by more than more than six million visitors each year. While Marin County Parks will celebrate its 40th anniversary this year, the celebration is tempered by revenue shortfalls and years of budget cuts that have reduced park hours, our ability to take good care of these lands, and our ability to implement approved plans. On August 7, 2012, after an extensive public process, the Marin County Board of Supervisors unanimously placed Measure A on the November 6, 2012 ballot for county voters to consider.
Measure A Overview
Marin County Measure A is a temporary ¼-cent sales tax increase that will protect the natural places, local parks, and family farms. Measure A will:
- Protect streams, baylands, natural areas, and wildlife habitat
- Manage vegetation to preserve biodiversity and reduce wildfire risk
- Protect water quality by conserving open space and other natural lands that feed our lakes, streams, lagoons, and baylands
- Protect and preserve Marin County farms and ranches
- Improve public access and recreational opportunities by maintaining and enhancing walking, hiking, biking and equestrian trails
Detailed Expenditure Plan
Measure A will generate approximately $10 million annually for nine years. Marin County Parks convened a series of public meetings to establish how these funds would be allocated. The public process determined:
- 65% of the funds would be available to Marin County Parks to restore natural resources, maintain county parks and open space preserves, restore and improve public access, and protect natural lands
- 20% would be dedicated to saving family farms and ranches
- 15% would be available to cities, towns, and special districts to manage their parks, nature preserves, recreation programs and vegetation to reduce wildfire risk
Local Control and Independent Oversight
A seven-member Citizen Oversight Committee will be appointed to review and prepare an annual report describing how funds were spent; oversight committee meetings shall be open to the public. Every penny raised through the measure will stay in Marin. The state government, including California State Parks, cannot take away these funds.