WE CAN FIX ORINDA'S ROADS
But there is a way to both raise funds for appropriate long term maintenance and for the repair of the streets on which 47% of Orindans live.
* A NEW Sales Tax OR a Parcel Tax, voted on by the general public, could raise slightly over a half million dollars per year which could be used to "partially" bring maintenance funds up to the required $2.5 million per year but would not be sufficient to significantly impact the quality of Orinda's 45 miles of substandard residential streets.
* MOFD Tax Reallocations are not new taxes but taxes Orinda voters thought they were getting control of when they formed MOFD in 1997. This could add up to $1 million to city revenue.
These two taxes could fund an effective, city-wide road maintenance program that people should demand before rehabilitating their failed roads. In addition, any new tax should have a sunset provision as new funds, from an expanding property or a different tax source, could alleviate the need for the Sales or Parcel Tax.
* A NEW Real Estate Transfer Tax could raise up to $4 million per year (at 1.5%) but could not be voted on until the end of 2014. It would then take over a decade of this tax to rehabilitate Orinda's residential streets but it could be used for maintenance and other infrastucture items like water pipes.
* A NEW Benefit Assessment District could be formed at any time, voted for on a neighborhood-by-neighborhood basis, and start resurrecting Orinda's residential streets almost immediately. This is not a tax imposed by the city on all taxpayers but a means for the residents to rebuild the roads directly affecting their lives.
* The time to act is NOW. Financing rates and construction costs are at levels we may never see again. It may be possible to reconstruct ALL of Orinda's poor and failed residential streets for half the cost just a few years from now.
* A new ad valorem tax funding or parcel tax funding a single large or several small bonds to address $40 - $60 million of repairs is not going to happen; a two thirds super majority will not vote for it.