Partners for Open Space, county park and recreation departments, and MACo are making a final push during the week of April 6 to secure the most favorable funding positions possible for Program Open Space (POS). As the House and Senate budget committees have different positions in their proposed funding amounts for POS, the issue will be a topic of discussion when the capital budget conference committee meets. Partners has produced a handout outlining three key positions:
1-) Follow the Green Route! [See the budget chart included in the full handout link below] The Governor’s Proposed Budget, Department of Legislative Services, the House and the Senate all have very different recommendations for the programs funded by the Transfer Tax Revenue. If you vote for the Green boxes, approximately 80% of the funds that will be collected by the transfer tax in 2016 will go to the programs it is intended to fund. While we recommend 100% of those funds going to their intended purpose, we appreciate the competing demands and need to balance the budget.Capital Budget. …
2-) Return to full cash funding. Include the plan passed by the Assembly in the FY 15 Budget to return to full cash funding by FY 19. We ask you to include that plan in the Capital Budget. Program Open Space has a dedicated revenue source and it should not have to compete in the Capital Budget.
3-) Reject the Governor’s Recommendation to overturn the 2005 legislation requiring that funds diverted from Program Open Space be restored and used for the intended purpose..