2020 ballot measures

Election Day 2020 was a huge success for our parks and public lands: voters approved nearly $3.7 billion in new funding for land conservation, parks, climate resiliency, and habitat. Voters approved all of the 26 measures supported by The Trust for Public Land and The Trust for Public Land Action Fund, a resounding sign of the importance of parks and nature for communities across the country.

Get the full results of these campaigns below.

California

Measure Y: Oakland Unified School District (USD) Bond

Location:  Oakland Unified School District
Election Date:  November 3, 2020

The Oakland Unified School District (OUSD) placed a $735 million school bond on the November ballot (Measure Y). The Trust for Public Land has long worked with the district on green–or “living”–schoolyards in Oakland. OUSD has identified green schoolyards as one of the projects that would be funded by the 2020 school bond.

APPROVED


Proposition A: San Francisco’s 2020 Health and Recovery Bond 

Location:  San Francisco
Election Date:  November 3, 2020

Proposition A is a $487.5 million bond that includes $239 million dedicated to neighborhood parks projects and a variety of programs that support recreation and open spaces throughout the city. The bond, a response to the economic difficulty caused by the pandemic, will also be used to support efforts to combat homelessness and mental health issues as well as upgrading city infrastructure. 

APPROVED

Colorado

Ballot Issue 1A

Adams County
Election Date:  November 3, 2020

A renewal of a quarter-cent sales tax for parks and open space (Issue 1A) in one of the most populous and rapidly developing counties in Colorado. If renewed, this tax would yield around $400 million over 20 years. 

APPROVED


Measure 2A: Denver Climate Sales Tax 

Location:  City and County of Denver
Election Date:  November 3, 2020

If approved by Denver voters, the proposed Denver “climate sales tax” (Measure 2A), a ¼-cent sales tax increase, would generate an estimated $720 million for wide variety of climate-related programs – an unprecedented move for a major city in the U.S. The Denver measure also directly addresses equity issues, mandating that the “funding should maximize investments in communities of color, under resourced communities, and communities most vulnerable to climate change and endeavor to invest 50 of the dedicated funds directly in community with a strong lens toward equity and race and social justice.” 

APPROVED


Ballot Issue 7A

Colorado River Water Conservation District 
Election Date:  November 3, 2020

Voters within the Colorado River Water Conservation District will see a property tax increase to protect water security in Western Colorado and improve water use and healthy streams (Issue 7A). The District is comprised of 15 West Slope counties in which a majority of the Colorado River Basin exists. The measure could generate about $100 million over two decades.  

APPROVED

Florida

Volusia County Forever and Volusia County ECHO

Location:  Volusia County
Election Date:  November 3, 2020

The Volusia County, Florida, County Council voted to refer two measures to the November ballot: one for the renewal of the Volusia Forever land conservation program and one for the county’s Environmental, Cultural, Historic, and Outdoor Recreation (ECHO) program.  If approved by the voters, these two measures would dedicate 1/5th mill property tax increase and provide $100 million in new bonding authority.

APPROVED


Conservation Collier

Location: Collier County
Election Date:  November 3, 2020

In Collier County, Florida, a 10-year, .25 mill property tax continuation of the Conservation Collier program for acquisition and management of environmentally sensitive lands could generate $287 million over the next decade. 

APPROVED


Manatee County Land Acquisition Referendum

Location: Manatee County
Election Date:  November 3, 2020

The Manatee County, Florida, Board of County Commissioners voted unanimously to refer a 0.15 mill property tax increase and $50 million bond for the acquisition, improvement, and management of land to protect water quality, preserve fish and wildlife habitat, and provide parks. The measure would generate $108 million over the next two decades and would be the first program of its kind for the county.

APPROVED

New York

Community Preservation Fund

Location:  New Paltz
Election Date:  November 3, 2020

Voters in the Town of New Paltz, New York, will have the opportunity to be the first municipality in Ulster County to increase the real estate transfer tax to support a local Community Preservation Fund.  The fund will be used to protect rivers, lakes, streams, drinking water sources, working farms, and wildlife habitat. The measure could generate over $3.5 million over 20 years. 

APPROVED

Massachusetts

Community Preservation Act

Location:  Franklin, Framingham, Greenfield, Hopedale, Lancaster, Lee, Milton, Shrewsbury and Whitman
Election Date:  November 3, 2020

Nine communities in Massachusetts will be voting on the Community Preservation Act (CPA) in November. CPA is a state program that allows communities to establish a local fund dedicated to open space, outdoor recreation, historic preservation, and affordable housing. This revenue is raised locally through the imposition of a property tax surcharge of not more than 3 percent, supplemented by annual distributions of matching funds from the statewide Community Preservation Trust Fund.

Since CPA was signed into law 20 years ago, 177 municipalities in the state have adopted the program by ballot referendum, raising a total of $2.35 billion for local community preservation projects. Three cities (Framingham, Franklin, and Greenfield) and six towns (Hopedale, Lancaster, Lee, Milton, Shrewsbury, and Whitman) will decide whether or not to adopt CPA in November; should all of these measures pass, it would generate $4.9 million each year to fund local open space protection, the creation and rehabilitation of parks, playgrounds, trails and athletic fields, preservation of historic resources, and support for affordable housing.

APPROVED

More Information:

https://www.communitypreservation.org

 

Michigan

Traverse City and Garfield Township Recreation Authority Levy

Location:  Traverse City and Garfield Township
Election Date:  November 3, 2020

The Recreational Authority of Traverse City and Garfield Township, Michigan, have placed a 20-year property tax renewal originally passed in 2004 with support from the Trust for Public Land. The fund will assist with the purchase of 80 acres of forest and woodland, expanding public natural areas for passive recreational use. The measure will generate close to $13 million.

APPROVED


Amendment 20-1

Location:  Michigan
Election Date:  November 3, 2020

A statewide Constitutional Amendment in Michigan (Constitutional Amendment 20-1) will lift the cap on how much the Michigan Natural Resources Trust Fund can take in. Created in 1976, the fund uses royalties from the oil, gas, and mining industries to create and protect state parks and other natural resources.

APPROVED

Minnesota

2020 Parks Referendum

Location:  Rochester
Election Date:  November 3, 2020

Voters in the City of Rochester, Minnesota, will vote on a $2 million per year property tax levy to improve park access for those with disabilities, improve park safety, conserve trees, and protect water quality and natural areas throughout Rochester.

APPROVED

Montana

Initiative I-190: Montana Marijuana Tax

Location:  Montana
Election Date:  November 3, 2020

A statewide measure to legalize and place a sales tax on recreational marijuana has reached the ballot in Montana via the initiative petition process (voter-gathered signatures). The measure allocates 50 percent of the tax proceeds to land conservation. The measure is projected to provide $360 million over twenty years for land conservation in Montana.

APPROVED

Ohio

Issue 14

Location:  Ottawa County
Election Date:  November 3, 2020

Voters in Ottawa County, Ohio, located on Lake Erie, could establish their park district’s first dedicated funding source through a 10-year, 0.6 mill property tax increase (Issue 14). The fund will be used to creating hiking and biking trails, protect the water quality of Lake Erie, and fund other capital improvements, operations, and maintenance. $11 million could be created over the coming decade. 

APPROVED

Oregon

Measure 26-213: Recreation and Parks Levy

Location:  Portland
Election Date:  November 3, 2020

The Portland, Oregon, City Council voted to refer a five-year parks and recreation local property tax levy to the November ballot. The proposed levy (Measure 26-213) will generate $293 million to restore investments in parks, natural areas, and services and will dramatically increase access to recreation opportunities for communities of color, refugees and immigrants, and families experiencing poverty.

APPROVED

Texas

Proposition A

Location:  Hays County
Election Date:  November 3, 2020

Located in the Texas Hill Country, Hays County voters will see a $75 million open space bond on the November ballot (Proposition A). The measure will fund land protection for recreational or open-space use, protect wildlife habitat and water quality of creeks, rivers, and springs; and protect natural resources by minimizing flood risks and improving flood safety.

APPROVED