The passing of Measure K, a parcel tax, is the biggest news item for GVRD in the 2011/2012 fiscal year. After three years of continuous reductions in property tax, the residents of Vallejo passed a super majority parcel tax to support parks and recreation in Vallejo.
It is well known that parks and recreation has never been funded to a level that they are supported in other neighboring cities. GVRD depends on property tax funds for the majority of its budget. With the housing crash, the property values went down and in turn GVRD's funding decreased by about 30%. To make matters worse, the City of Vallejo as a result of its bankruptcy stopped supporting GVRD for some of the City facilities such as the swimming pool and community centers. Fortunately, GVRD had been operating frugally over the previous four years and had developed a reserve fund for financial difficulties. With good leadership from the Board of Directors, the District was able to adjust and with careful use of the reserves had been able to maintain.
The long term plan for GVRD was to gain back trust from the community by making capital improvements and operate the District in a way that the community would trust. GVRD developed the dog and skate park at Wardlaw,rebuilt Children's Wonderland Park,developed an artificial turf sports field at Dan Foley Park, renovated Carquinez Park, and completed North Gate Park. In addition GVRD worked with community groups to rebuild playgrounds at Fairmont Park and City Park.
After trust would be re-established then GVRD could work with the community to bond for a huge back log of capital improvements. Instead, the recession came along and GVRD was faced with closing parks, facilities, and programs. Instead of having a bond election for capital improvements, GVRD was forced to ask the residents to pass a parcel tax to continue operating and keep things open.
Measure K will bring in $2 million a year, and will bring the budget back to where it was in 2009. This parcel tax will last for six years, and hopefully the economy will have improved by that time.
GVRD will continue to operate frugally and will take advantage of the efficiencies that have been developed over the past few years and will be able to make some much needed improvements throughout the community.