San Rafael, CA – The statewide ballot in June will include the renewal of a quarter-cent sales tax in Marin County over a nine-year period that supports parks and open space. The Marin County Board of Supervisors unanimously supported the tax measure’s reimplementation during its February 15 meeting, with some changes from the 2012 measure that is expiring March 31.
Mount Burdell Open Space Preserve in Novato is one of the many County of Marin properties that have benefited from Measure A funds since it was passed by voters in 2012.
The Board had shown support for Marin County Parks Measure A since it received countywide voter approval. In its first nine years, the tax has generated an average of $14 million per year for parks, open spaces, and farmland preservation across Marin. A poll conducted by the Marin Open Space Trust in June 2021 indicated broad public support for local parks and open space funding.
In response to public feedback, the expenditure plan for the renewal measure increases funding for fire fuel reduction work in County parks and preserves and diversifies the existing farmland allocation for sustainable agricultural practices.
Board President Katie Rice from District 2 and Supervisor Dennis Rodoni from District 4 have served as the Board’s subcommittee on the topic.
“There’s a lot of clarity in it this time,” Rodoni said. “I support it as presented. We listened to everyone who wanted to have a say in this. I think we found that critical balance to get this passed because it is so important in Marin to have the measure passed in June.”
Rice said placing the renewal on the ballot again continues to align with County commitments to preserve agricultural lands, working farms, the local foodshed, and environmentally focused stewardship.
“I’m very happy where this ended up,” she said. “It really reflects a healthy iterative process. And it also reflects our community values, our longstanding community values around environmental protections and open space preservation as well as recreation and recognizing public access. … I think it is exactly where it needs to be.”
The sunsetting Measure A has not only supported Marin County Parks facilities and programs but also become an important funding resource for city and town parks and family farms that contribute to Marin’s food supply. The funds increased fire fuel reduction, addressed deferred maintenance, supported critical sea level rise adaptation projects, improved trails and expanded access to the trail system, and protected and restored natural habitat.
Parks is especially pleased about Measure A’s effect on equity, one of the top ongoing issues supported by the Supervisors. Measure A funds were used to reduce or eliminate park fees, provide park passes to lower-income residents, and fund programs that have provided ranger-led events for visitors who might not otherwise have easy access to recreation.
Learn more about Parks and Measure A at www.marincountyparks.org.