North Orange County Area Subregional Groups' Findings
November 17, 1997
- Re-examine the Initiative Process:
- Initiatives should pass legal, operational and fiscal reviews prior to appearing on the ballot;
- Initiatives should contain "plain language;"
- Initiative petitions should identify proponents, (sponsors) responsible for the effort to qualify the initiative;
- To the extent it is possible, restrict the amount of money which can be spent to qualify an initiative;
- Increase the number of signatures required to place an initiative on the ballot;
- If an initiative proposes extraordinary voting requirements, (e.g. Supermajority) that initiative should be required to pass with the same requirement.
- Encourage Cost-Effective Annexations of Unincorporated Communities, ("Islands"):
- Identify the costs to the County of maintaining unincorporated areas;
- Identify the revenue to the County from unincorporated "islands;"
- Tax sharing agreements should include resources to upgrade the infrastructure of the area to be annexed to meet the standards of the annexing public entity;
- Tax sharing agreements should identify and pay for the cost of providing services to the area;
- Many residents of County islands have misconceptions about the costs and benefits involved with annexation. Any annexation effort should include a public information campaign.
- Encourage Combining Small Cities/School Districts/Special Districts or the Creation of Competitive Alliances to Promote More Cost-Effective Units:
- Seek to discover what the appropriate level of population to be served by a City/School District/Special District should be;
- Develop legislation which allows and encourages local agencies to collaborate.
- In Order to Promote Public Participation, Simplify the Delivery of Public Services and Encourage Accountability Which Citizens Can Easily Identify and Understand:
- Tie revenue raising ability to service delivery and accountability;
- Audit on an annual basis to monitor performance objectives;
- Work with the media, particularly television, to promote public education through educating the media and developing "sound bites" which clearly define public policy discussions;
- Simplify the State's Financial System of the Allocation of Taxes:
- Define "local" revenue and tie it to "local" services;
- Revisit the AB 8 property tax distribution formula. Be mindful that there are presently winners and losers with high stakes in the formula;
- Stabilize the allocation of revenues to local government.
- Don't Alienate Business. Give Leverage to Those Who Create "Livable Wage" Jobs and Avoid Incentives to Move Them Across City/County Borders:
- Do not promote the growth of sales tax generators as a method of local government finance;
- Create fiscal incentives to create well paying jobs instead of retail jobs;
- Discourage or eliminate incentives for the local relocation of retail outlets.
- Permit Local Governments to Work Together to Determine How to Allocate Tax Revenue, and Make it Easier for Them to Share Tax Revenue When Appropriate.
- Educate the Public About the Current System of Local Government Finance and Mandated Services: