3:13 pm - Thursday December 18, 0515

Ballot Issue 1 – TOPS

Business Alliance Endorses Ballot Issue 1 Regarding the Trails, Open Space and Parks (TOPS) ProgramThe Board of Directors of the Business Alliance has voted to endorse Ballot Issue 1 regarding the TOPS Program which is on the ballot in the April 2, 2013 municipal election. Voters will be asked to allow a 20% portion of the TOPS sales and use tax (already in place) collected after January 1, 2013 for maintaining and renovating all City parks, in addition to the presently authorized uses to acquire, construct and maintain new parks. There are no changes to the remaining 80% of the prescribed use which includes trails and open spaces. This is not a tax increase; it simply allows more flexibility for use of the revenues from the existing tax.

The ballot initiative is supported by the Mayor and City Council. The Mayor (by letter) and City Council (by Resolution) have indicated their intent to continue to fund the park system through the City general fund budget at current levels. The ballot language and resolution will provide flexibility for Council and the Mayor to properly manage the city budget in times of fiscal crisis for the City.

 

“The TOPS Ballot Measure is necessary to keep our parks, trails and open spaces maintained at a level that contributes significantly to our quality of life,” says Business Alliance board chair, Mike Jorgensen.

 

Ballot Issue 1 Key Facts

 

  1. TOPS generates more than $6 million annually.
  2. Ballot Issue #1 gives flexibility across the parks system to provide needed maintenance. There is approximately $20 million in backlogged maintenance of our parks.
  3. 20% of TOPS money is for parks, or around $1.6 million.
  4. This ballot initiative will not reduce funding for future open space acquisitions; this represents around 60% of the TOPS generated funding.
  5. This ballot initiative will not reduce funding for trail development, which represents about 20% of TOPS-generated funds.

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