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Isla Vista voters approve parcel tax for parks

Courtesy of the Isla Vista Recreation and Park District.
Isla Vista's People's Park.

In Santa Barbara County, of the 11,000 registered voters in Isla Vista, just 550 ballots were cast in this week’s special election there. That’s a five percent voter turnout, according to the semi-official results. Of those 550 voters, 80 percent were in favor of Measure O, a new parcel tax that will raise money for the Isla Vista Park and Recreation District (IVRPD). 

Now that the parcel tax has passed, for the next decade, Isla Vista property owners will pay $28.75 per bedroom on residential parcels and .72 cents per square foot for non-residential units. 

The District expects the parcel tax to raise $250,000 annually.

“Current IVRPD funding allows for moderate levels of park maintenance and a limited amount of recreational programming for children. They also secure grants to operate trash removal and graffiti abatement programs for the entire community,” the Vote Yes on Measure O campaign states on its website. “This would not represent an increased tax payment for the vast majority of Isla Vista property owners as the requested amount is equal to a parkland bond payment that was paid off this tax year.”

The District plans to use the revenue to upgrade existing facilities, improve park lighting in the parks and explore the creation of a skate or dog park.

There was no organized campaign opposed to 2017’s Measure O.