Political battles over land use issues in Napa county have raged since before creation of the Ag Preserve in 1968. The solution for solving currently imagined problems is again being promoted in Measure C.
Much of the repeated hysteria was embodied in Measure I in 2006, which proposed a new parks and open space district. At that time county Supervisor Bill Dodd equated the argument in favor of Measure I with, “Motherhood and apple pie.”
Dodd also predicted that, “If Measure I passes ….. a new layer of government will create a new tax or fee to fund their program.”
This measure did result in the creation of the Parks and Open Space District and limited funding was provided and controlled by the county. Measure A and expansions of the land trusts continue to provide increased local watershed protections.
In 2016, an article by Peter Kilkus in the Lake Berryessa News noted a “Zombie Tax” resurrection of Measure I with the proposed sales tax Measure Z. This measure included some of the same emotional arguments as Measure I and the current Measure C proposal. The Measure Z sales tax would have provided a ten-fold increase in funding for the Parks and Open Space District. Measure Z did not pass.
Measure C does not include any details of how this new “Zombie Tax” regulation will be funded. A good example of the overly restrictive requirements include the setbacks required for Class 3 streams. These streams typically do not have any -- nada, zilch -- running water except after a rain.
All of the trails in Alston Park where I walk my dogs would be considered class 3 streams and require a 25-foot setback for planting a grapevine.
Measure C is clearly intended to restrict vineyard expansion and farming in areas where agriculture has long been designated the best land use. As Dodd predicted for Measure I, staffing of a new layer of local government for enforcing the overly restrictive requirements of Measure C would be required. This means locally increased expenses for landowners and tax dollar costs for the residents of Napa County.
I recommend killing this returning “Zombie.” Vote 'no' on C.
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Regional Measure 3:
The Napa County Taxpayers Association recommends voting No on Regional Measure 3.
Regional Measure 3 is a huge money grab by an out-of-control, un-elected regional planning agency.
Unnecessary and redundant - How many times will we pay for the same thing? About $50 billion over 10 years will be raised from the just enacted big increases in California’s fuel taxes and vehicle registration fees. These also claim to pay for transportation projects. These taxes would “inflate” forever.
Plus, here in Napa we already have a Measure T half-cent sales tax. All are promises to reduce congestion and improve roads. Enough already.
Unfairly Regressive – Regional Measure 3 raises the annual cost of bridge crossing for the average worker $750, to about $2,000 per year. That’s about $2,700 per year in pretax income just for bridge tolls to get to work. Many commuting workers don’t have any alternative practical mass transit option.
Unequal Burden – Why should bridge commuters fund the entire burden of the Metropolitan Transportation Commission’s increased local transportation funding schemes? Those who don’t cross bridges, use transit, or bicycle get a free ride.
Unaccountable – Regional Measure 3 funds will be administered by the MTC, which has consolidated power as a regional planning agency. It’s an un-elected agency, with an appointed un-empowered oversight board. The MTC only uses the power of its purse to fund preferred transportation “solutions” and high density development mandates.
Uncoordinated – MTC markets Regional Measure 3 as a “Bay Area Traffic Relief Plan.” It is not a coordinated plan. And it won’t reduce truck traffic, repair bridges or reduce congestion The project is an emotional appeal with each County given a few token projects in an attempt to poll well with local voters.
Jack Gray, Director
Napa County Taxpayers Association