Community oversight of parcel taxes
Original post made by [removed] on Jul 21, 2011
Neighborhoods audit teams have been investigating oversight of parcel taxes that, more and more, are becoming offsets for county department budgets rather than serving their designated communities. In Alamo, public safety, beautification and parks and recreation parcel taxes are disappearing into the budgets of the sheriff, public works and, YES, Danville. When teams sought oversight of such uses outside of the Alamo community, county officials claimed there are no rights provided for such community oversight.
After further investigation, CCC-MAC Alamo, P-2B and P-5 advisory groups have no agenda for such review without permission from Supervisor Piepho, Sheriff and Public Works. As defined, such advisory councils and committees are not oversight and no method of community control exists for substantial usage of parcel taxes and their reserves for county budgets. Quite appropriately, Alamo and other county communities are considering termination of parcels taxes unless community oversight is provided.
Alamo Improvement Association (AIA) Community Affairs committee is establishing taskforces for public safety, parks and recreation, beautification and more to provide neighborhood, business district and community groups more direct oversight of county provision of services and uses of funds. If such oversight cannot be achieved, then neighborhoods will seek restriction or termination of parcel taxes via formal actions.
This will become a major story in the next 15 months as county budget offsets consume more than currently available reserves and parcel tax collection. Alamo and other county communities will be left without funds to provide public safety, parks and roadside landscaping.
on Jul 23, 2011 at 8:08 am
Contra Costa LAFCO Municipal Service Review (MSR) reports provide a wealth of information regarding cities and special districts. These reports are posted on the Contra Costa LAFCO website under "Municipal Service Reviews." Alamo Region readers may be particularly interested in looking at the newly released Law Enforcement MSR (covers the County Sheriff, P-2, P-5, P-6 and other local agencies), and the Parks & Recreation and Cemeteries MSR (covers R-7 and other local agencies). Also, readers should consider the Contra Costa LAFCO Commissioner Handbook (also online under Documents), and in particular Section 2.1 Policies and Standards.