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Hills Owners Could be Taxed to Pay For Santa Monica Mountains

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The agency that watches over the Santa Monica Mountains is asking Hills property owners to pay up to conserve the open space--the Santa Monica Mountains Recreation and Conservation Authority has proposed two measures that would create taxes "to generate an estimated $1 million per year to help maintain and improve open space, parklands and wildlife corridors, natural habitats, waters, land and facilities in two districts of the Santa Monica Mountain Conservancy Zone," reports the Daily News. The money could also be used to buy more open space. One of the measures (HH) covers the area west of Griffith Park and east of the 405, and would require property owners to pay $24 a year. The other (MM) covers the northern slope west of the 405 and the hillside areas of Woodland Hills, Encino, and Tarzana; property owners would have to pay $19 a year. The SMMRCA doesn't have ongoing state or local funding; these measures would help replace money lost to a phaseout of a former ballot measure. The measures will be on the November 6 ballot; if they get a two-thirds majority, the taxes will go into effect in 2014 and last for 10 years. The sometimes-ornery Hills homeowners seem to be generally positive about the plan right now.
· Hillside landowners face vote on tax to preserve open land [LADN]