FRESNO, CA (KMJ) – Fresno City Council member Gary Bredefeld pushes back against a proposed new parks tax going to a vote in city council.
This latest proposed tax would fund both Parks and Public Safety in Fresno.
The three-quarters of a cent tax is estimated to generate about $75 million annually and sunset in 20 years.
On Thursday, February 13, 2020, City Council will vote on $6.6 million in carryover funds.
Speaking during a press conference held Wednesday at Fresno City Hall, Council Member Bredefeld told reporters the money should go to higher priorities
“We don’t need a tax on parks, and taxpayers should call us all out for this kind of wasteful spending – the pet projects, the misguided priorities have to stop, and this is the latest reflection in the carryover and it exists in the budget and it’s time for us to stop rearranging the chairs on the Titanic, and get very serious about focusing on the real priorities in our city,” said Council Member Bredefeld.
Previously, Fresno City Council voted in August 2018 to place a similar park proposal called Measure P on the November 2018 ballot.
Measure P was developed by Fresno for Parks, who gathered more than 35,000 signatures of local support.
The non-partisan group of Fresno residents said they “believe that safer, cleaner parks for all Fresnans is important to the health, safety and overall quality of life of our community.”
Measure P would have added a 3/8 percent sales and use tax in the city bringing an estimated 37.5 million dollars annually for 30-years to improve Fresno’s parks and neighborhoods.
The proposal did not have the support of Fresno Mayor Lee Brand, who said money needs to go to public safety.
Measure P did not pass in November 2018.