The Santa Clara Valley Open Space Authority passed its parcel tax increase with 82 percent of the vote, according to the latest returns.
Measure T renews a $24 annual parcel tax approved by voters in 2014 to generate $8 million a year—two thirds of the open space agency’s operating budget—to protect and manage local wildlands.
“Now more than ever, the protection of nature in and near our urban communities is vital for public health and building resilience to climate change. During COVID-19, we’ve seen a tremendous increase in visitation at our open space preserves,” Open Space Authority General Manager Andrea Mackenzie said in announcing the tentative election outcome today. “The voters have made clear that they consider access to parks and open space essential to their physical and mental health.”
Since passing Measure T’s preceding parcel tax six years ago, the open space authority managed to double the protected lands under its purview to 26,000 acres. That includes the purchase of 1,000 acres in North Coyote Valley and the 2,500-acre Tilton Ranch—one of the largest remaining working ranches in Santa Clara County.