OPEN SPACE BALLOT MEASURE Q: $24 PARCEL TAXIf you thought the Open Space Authority (OSA) was protecting your “view shed”---think again.
Virtually all of its properties in the Diablo Range is east of the western ridge-line. Of the vast areas that OSA has in the Santa Cruz hills, only small areas are visible from the valley floor. The large parcels here are not only out of sight but out of reach to all but the most avid hikers.
What’s going on? A new dynastic bureaucratic-elite is now enjoying its vast spread of land. The land for the most part is so steep that only a small fraction of our citizens can ever enjoy it. OSA calls the trail up to Sierra Vista “bracing”.
The OSA is already taxing typical homeowners $12 a year and for 2014-2015 will raise $4,216,965.
OSA’s Engineer’s Report shows an “ESTIMATE OF COSTS” for the year. Only $80,000 is earmarked for land acquisition. But $4,228,254 is for “General Operating Expenses” of which $1.9M is for payroll and another $0.82M for benefits. The OSA staff is very well paid.
Now they want to get an ADDITIONAL $24 per year from us. If they do how long do you think it will take for the “General Operating Expenses” to double and then triple to keep this bloated bureaucracy in place?
Six years ago the California Supreme Court unanimously held that OSA’S $20 “assessment” was unlawful; OSA Illegally took over $50M from us. But OSA ended up keeping over $30M which has allowed annual expenditures since then to exceed income; and now they are using a BIG SLICE of it to run an expensive campaign to get your favorable vote on this measure.
Tell OSA “NO”! Vote “No” on Measure Q.