Maxwell Park and Recreation District is preparing for the approval or rejection of a Proposition 218 tax assessment proposal that could either make or break district operations in the near future.
The Board of Directors, at a meeting on July 13, said they will have less than $300 in their coffers as they head into the 2020-2021 budget cycle, after using district reserves to keep the pool in operation, election expenses, and additional operational costs.
MK Election Services will count the mail-only ballots at a Town Hall meeting at the MPR Community Center on Aug. 10.
“I’ve gotten a lot of calls on this and I’m referring them to our website if they need more information,” said President Kyle Miller.
The current assessment of $15 per year for each residence on a parcel of land was adopted in 1985, and it has never been increased, officials said. But 35 years later, the income the assessment provides does not allow the district to meet expenses, expand services, or make the necessary capital improvements needed for the Town Pool.
The board is asking for an annual assessment rate of $45.27 (billed twice a year at $22.64) per residential parcel of land.
For parcels without a residence, the district is seeking a special levy of .21 cents per acre of land for 43 acres or greater or $9.05 per year for property less than 43 acres.
The assessment is proposed on all land within the Maxwell Park and Recreation District boundaries, Miller said.
If approved, the board anticipates annual revenue of approximately $41,778, a boost of $28,000 per year.
The amount proposed is less than what the board first considered in 2018, when they adopted a Capital Improvement Plan, which includes ADA compliant restrooms at the Town Pool, and other necessary improvements.
At a public meeting in 2018, the board initially proposed $64.50 per year for residential property, but only recently reduced it to $45.27, due to economic uncertainty related to COVID-19. The proposed assessment is less than half those of most rural Park and Recreation districts, including Arbuckle, officials said.
Although the district received just over $5,000 in donations to keep the pool open this season, the board said operating in such a manner would not be sustainable. If the assessment increase does not pass, board members said they would likely have to close the pool permanently and possibly sell the community center building, as fundraising would not support the necessary improvements required to bring the pool or building into compliance with state law.
Due to COVID-19, the Aug. 10 meeting will be available via Zoom. Although the meeting will also be open to those who would like to attend, seating may be limited inside due to physical distancing protocols.
For more information about the proposed assessment, visit the district’s website at maxwellparkandrec.com or by contacting Miller at (530) 501-6588.
If the measure is approved, the new rates would be assessed starting in 2021, officials said. ■