The Sacramento County Board of Supervisors will seek state legislation that would give the county the option of pursuing a 0.1 percent sales tax increase to generate revenue for parks. Supervisors and members of the Grass Roots Working Group, which backs forming a new regional park district, stressed that the legislation would simply allow the board to put such a tax measure before county voters.
Supervisors voted 4-1, with board Chairwoman Roberta MacGlashan dissenting. She noted that the governor in recent weeks signed a bill that would allow the county to pursue a one-eighth cent, or .125 percent, sales tax increase.
"I think that's close enough, so I'm not going to support special legislation for one-tenth cent," she said. The Grass Roots Working Group urged the board to pursue the special legislation because surveys have shown voters would support a 0.1 percent increase.
If approved by two-thirds of county voters, the tax would raise an estimated $17 million annually to support the county's 32 regional parks, including the American River Parkway.
Rob Leonard, Sacramento County's municipal services agency administrator, said county staff members will recruit people to serve on an ad hoc committee to advise the county executive on matters related to the future of regional parks, including long-term funding, governance and a business model for maintenance and operation.
The panel is to include representatives of the county Recreation and Parks Commission, Dry Creek Parkway Advisory Committee, American River Parkway Advisory Committee, American River Parkway Foundation, the Grass Roots Working Group, the Sacramento Metro Chamber of Commerce, the golf community and supervisorial districts.