The REAL Fact Sheet on Measure E!
There is Enough General Fund and Existing Flood Tax Revenue – It’s a Matter of Priority!
Every Spring, like all businesses, County departments submit budget requirements to the Board of Supervisors who deliberate and finally set the overall fiscal year budget allocations. In 2017 Marin County Operating Budget was $540,000,000.
Strategic projects like the ones proposed by the Marin County Flood Control and Water Conservation District in Measure E, especially those that are intended as one time only projects, and which clearly benefit a broad majority of the citizens of the county, both for safety and economic reasons, should get precedence at these Spring Budget exercises. They don’t.
Instead, Special Projects advocated by well funded, organized and connected special interest groups, get a disproportionate amount of funding. This leaves critical infrastructure work, like roads and flood projects underfunded and requires the Board of Supervisors to tax the hard working citizens of Marin.
There’s Grant Money from the Feds and the State!
Additional money can be found in Federal and Local Agency Grants like the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), and the Flood Emergency Response Program (FERP) and Local Levee Assistance Grant (LLAP) both given by the Department of Water Resources. The County already works with these agencies and files applications for these monies. No additional tax from the hard working citizens of Marin is necessary to secure these grants.
A 2017 Bay Area Wide Tax Will Fund Special Projects Like Measure E for 20 Years.
Starting this year, The San Francisco Bay Restoration Agency will be collecting $25,000,000 a year from the 8 Bay Area Counties for Flood Projects and Natural Bay Habitat Restoration work that is exactly the kind of work the District’s Flood Zone 1 wants to do and Marin County is assured its fair share of this budget every year.
The Burden Of These Taxes Hits All Of Us HARD.
It doesn’t matter who you are, taxes are becoming a dangerous burden, and our public officials need to carefully consider the impact on the citizens they are sworn to protect and serve. $47 may not sound like much to some, but to others, on a fixed income, it could be a week’s worth of groceries.
Do Low Income Seniors Get a Pass?
It depends on what you consider to be low income. The cost of living in Marin necessitates significant monthly funds, which can be hard for those on fixed incomes. For Seniors who are exempt, they will have to jump through hoops every year to prove eligibility to have the tax refunded to them.
Renters and Property Owners Will Feel the Effects.
Other taxes are hitting Novato this year too – the school tax and the SF Bay Restoration Authority tax. It all adds up and property owners will pass this burden down to their renters.
Everywhere you turn you hear of people talking about the cost of living in Marin. This is the exact thing that drives prices up.
We must unite against this money grab and tell the Board of Supervisors that we will not take any more tax burden on!
Flood Projects are GOOD but Scare Tactics are BAD.
Measure E talks a lot about special flood preventative projects. We think those projects are good and proper and we encourage the County to pursue the appropriate funds to get this work done. But talking about Highway 37 closure and trapped love ones is disingenuous at best and fear mongering to strong arm at worst. If Novato is in such dire straits, why hasn’t this work been prioritized and fast tracked?
Instead, the proponents talk about selection committees and public oversight. If my house is in imminent danger of being swept away and rescue crews will be kept from helping by raging flood waters, the county better get cracking on a fix whether they get this tax money or not!
The Burden of Maintaining State Highway 37 is on the State.
Asking Novato and County residents to pay for Caltrans Levee failures, which is rightfully the responsibility of the State, is also NOT OK. And using the closure of Highway 37 to push Measure E is plain WRONG!
There are Marketing and Spin Campaigns Behind this Tax.
This tax has been 2 years in the making and was originally intended to be positioned as a Habitat Restoration Fund. The reason? At the time, we were in the throes of a drought and the Marketing firm which the County hired to help them position the tax with the public, thought talk of flooding would not play well. Then the storms of 2017 and the famous Highway 37 closure and suddenly, this tax becomes all about saving Novato from catastrophic flooding.
This tax isn’t about the truth, it is about the hype that will induce us to part with our hard earned money so that the County doesn’t have to manage within their budget.
These Flood and Habitat Restorations Projects are Honorable
They benefit the ecosystem of the entire Bay Area and should be seen holistically as benefitting the entire Marin County. Many projects of lesser economic and environmental benefit are nevertheless prioritized by the Board of Supervisors because they pander to their special interest group supporters. It is time the average taxpayer gets the same attention. By all means, let’s get projects like these done, but not by breaking the backs of the middle class.
Please Vote NO on Measure E!