In recent years, I have been a member of our local Napa County Taxpayers Association. A part of our efforts have been to review all local tax proposals and, if considered necessary, attempt to provide independent analysis and feedback on tax matters to all taxpayers as well as local political and taxing authorities.
I was pleased to note Supervisor Alfredo Pedroza's comment on recent county budget discussions saying, "It's like a household budget. We have money coming in, we have money going out. But we're setting money aside for expenses. Just like a household budget. " Alfredo has got it right.
Some of the wrong proposals include the $198 million non-specific bond, Measure A, for Napa Valley College, a proposed $80 million sales tax, Measure Y, for a new jail to which children's programs were added in an effort to gain voter approval and a $132 million sales tax, Measure Z, for unspecified parks and open space projects. The defeat of these measures will have saved Napa county taxpayers more than $410 million.
Other measures were obviously not developed like our household budgets. These included 1) Passage of the $12 Measure AA parcel tax by the nine-county San Francisco Bay Restoration Authority even though it was defeated in Napa, Solano, Contra Costa and Sonoma counties; 2) Passage of a massive 53 percent increase in local sewer fees; and 3) narrow passage of the largest ever $269 million Napa Valley Unified School District bond, Measure H.
Budgeting based on spending additional county funds to go "Deep Green" throughout the county as supported by Supervisor Brad Wagenknecht may make some "Feel Good" but is not related to the way individuals routinely plan their personal household budgets.
Jack Gray, Director
Napa County Taxpayers Association