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Davis, California

Friday, March 1, 2024

Measure D under debate

The maintenance and improvement of parks in the City of Davis remains a possibility after the debate about Measure D, which took place on May 22.

The upcoming 2012 Davis City Council elections will decide the fate of the measure which, according to city-officiated text, “extends for six years the existing Parks Maintenance Tax of $49 per year of residential units and on non-residential units in amounts specified in the Ordinance, to fund maintenance of parks, street trees, greenbelts, bike paths, medians, public landscaping, urban wildlife and habitat, swimming pools and recreational facilities.”

Davis parks make up a large portion of the city and activities that take place within it. Measure D, or the Parks Maintenance Tax, which was first approved in 1998, has provided much of the funding to upkeep, improve and expand the Davis parks that have become so integral to the community.

The special Measure D tax has acquired two prior passages, which have kept it intact since its origination 14 years ago. It was approved by 78 percent of the voters in 1998, renewed by 79 percent of the voters in 2002 and renewed by 70 percent of the voters in 2006.

A failure to pass the Parks Maintenance Tax would have a $1.37 million impact on the City’s budget starting in July 2012.

“I couldn’t imagine Davis without the Farmers Market, and the Farmers Market wouldn’t be the same without Central Park,” said Susan Villanueva, Davis resident. “Measure D has made sure I don’t have to.”
Publicity in favor of passing Measure D claims that it will make a “cleaner, greener Davis.” Such advertisement is supported by groups including the Sierra Club Yolano Group, Yolo Clean Air and the Davis Chamber of Commerce.

Pro-Measure D publicity reminds Davis residents that the measure will not increase but continue the same tax that they have been paying since 1998.

Those against Measure D claim it is not only unnecessary, but an example of wasteful spending, an excessive use of special taxation, unfair to renters and against the interest of individual taxpayers’ right to choose.

“It is a burden,” said Davis resident Coleman Thomas “Tom” Randall Jr., on his anti-Measure D website. “This is an involuntary means of revenue collection.”
“Paying this special tax is subsidizing the government, which allows them to continually drop our funding and get away with it,” said Davis resident Fred Newhouse. “We can’t continue to reward bad behavior.”
The official vote that decides whether Measure D will pass will take place on June 5.

SARA ISLAS can be reached at city@theaggie.org.


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