ITEM:            CONSENT CALENDAR

7.         ADOPT RESOLUTION SUPPORTING A STATEWIDE BALLOT INITIATIVE TO REQUIRE VOTER APPROVAL BEFORE STATE GOVERNMENT MAY TAKE LOCAL FUNDS

Meeting Date:           February 19, 2004                              Budgeted: N/A

Program/Line Item No.:  N/A

Staff Contact:             Rick Dickhaut                                    Cost Estimate: N/A

General Counsel Approval:N/A

Committee Recommendation:  N/A

CEQA Compliance:  N/A

SUMMARY:  Over the past twelve years more than $30 billion of local property taxes have been taken from local governments by the State, including over$400 million in the current year.  The District has lost over $4,850,000 during this same period, including more than$597,200 this fiscal year.  In an effort to prevent the state from taking additional property tax revenues in the future, the California Special Districts Association (CSDA) has joined the League of California Cities and the California State Association of Counties in the formation of the Leave Our Assets Local (LOCAL) coalition.  LOCAL is now undertaking an effort to place a statewide ballot initiative on the November 2004 ballot to put voters in charge of whether local tax dollars should be diverted from local programs to fund state services.  In December of 2003, the District made a contribution of $2,000 towards this effort. CSDA is now requesting resolutions of support for the statewide ballot initiative. Exhibit 7-A is Resolution 2004-__, which supports the statewide ballot initiative. RECOMMENDATION: The Board should consider adopting Resolution No. 2004-__, A Resolution of the Board of Directors of the Monterey Peninsula Water Management District Supporting a Statewide Ballot Initiative to Require Voter Approval Before State Government May Take Local Tax Funds. BACKGROUND: The District is a member of the California Special Districts Association (CSDA). One of the most significant goals of CSDA is to build support for special district issues by educating key decision-makers and media about the value of special districts in providing essential services that voters want and need. CSDA officially took its place in 2002 as the third leg in local government advocating for special districts by joining the League of California Cities and the California State Association of Counties in the formation of the Leave Our Community Assets Local (LOCAL) Coalition. While more than$30 billion of local property taxes have been taken from local governments by the state over the past twelve years, during this year’s state budget process, LOCAL was able to save local revenues and services from further cuts that could have crippled local government.  However, resolving the issue through the Legislature does not appear to be a long-term feasible option.  LOCAL is currently undertaking an effort to place a statewide ballot initiative on the November 2004 ballot to put voters in charge of whether local tax dollars should be diverted from local district programs to fund state services.  In December of 2003, the District made a contribution of \$2,000 towards this effort.  CSDA is now requesting resolutions of support for LOCAL’s effort for the statewide ballot initiative.

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