Local Governments Fail to Spend Parks Money for Intended Purpose, Now Want More

Ten years after voters approved $400 million in state general obligation bonds for parks, most of the money remains unspent and 68 projects remain dormant – and some local governments are now proposing new taxes to pay for parks. 

In 2006, California voters passed Proposition 84, authorizing $5.38 billion in general obligation bonds to fund a variety of environmental programs and projects. A large portion of the funds was earmarked for park construction and renovation in low-income regions of the state.

More than 90 percent of the funding has been appropriated by the state to local communities, but fewer than half of the projects identified in the bond have been completed. Local park officials claim that construction obstacles include regulatory hurdles and permitting issues.

Approximately one-third of the parks funding was appropriated to communities within Los Angeles County. Despite these funds available for park projects, the county now is proposing a split-roll type parcel tax to fund park construction, with a proposal on the November ballot that would cost property owners approximately $95 million per year. (Source: The Orange County Register, August 9.)

August 18, 2016

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