OPC Spotlight: San Francisco Bay Restoration Authority - $500 million 9-county parcel tax
The Challenge: Securing funding
The Solution: San Francisco Bay Restoration Authority - $500 million 9-county parcel tax
How Did They Do It?
The Restoration Authority designed a $12/year parcel tax to restore valuable wetlands in the 9-county Bay Area and placed it before voters on the June 2016 ballot where it passed with 70% in favor. The parcel tax will raise about $25 million per year for 20 years, providing the first year-on-year funding that will allow for badly-needed long-term restoration work. It is the first regional-scale parcel tax in California.
The successful ballot campaign received strong support from the Bay Area business community, Save the Bay and other environmental organizations, and from local governments. While many funded projects will help to address sea level rise and extreme storms, the Yes on Measure AA campaign was built around improving access to the bay, protecting wildlife, and enhancing habitat. Voter polling helped to establish those priority messages.
The Restoration Authority awarded the first 9 grants under Measure AA in 2018. The grants range from $150,000 to $7 million and cover wetlands in all 9 Bay Area counties. These grants will help move the region towards its healthy bay goal of 100,0000 acres of wetlands (currently about 44,000).
Who Made This Happen?
The San Francisco Bay Restoration Authority, created by the California legislature in 2008, is the taxing authority and its board of local elected officials will make all grant awards. Save the Bay, formed in the 1960’s to save San Francisco Bay from overdevelopment and pollution, was instrumental in passing Measure AA. Support from the Bay Area Council and the Silicon Valley Leadership Group, the region’s leading business groups, was critical to passing Measure AA.
How is it Funded?
The Measure AA $12/year parcel tax is assessed on all residential and business properties in the nine-county region.
Where Can I Find Out More?