Financing Plan for Local Jurisdictions

Options for Regional Funding

Local elected officials directed that the MSCP evaluate several options for a regional funding source, including:

  • a benefit assessment by a regional park or open space district;
  • a habitat maintenance assessment;
  • a Mello-Roos community facilities district special tax;
  • an ad valorem property tax; and,
  • an increase in sales tax.

State law provides different allowable uses for the revenues raised, so more than one source may be needed to fund both acquisition and recurring annual costs.

Timing of Regional Funding

The jurisdictions will begin a process to procure regional funding within 18 months of federal and state approval of the first subarea plan and will place a measure on the ballot and have one or more funding sources in place within an additional 18 months. This schedule may be adjusted if the jurisdictions demonstrate that their good faith efforts require additional time. The MSCP Plan includes a chronology of actions needed to place a measure on the ballot to finance the regional share.

Regional Financing Plan

Photo of Workers at Vernal Pool

A vernal pool inventory in 2003 mapped
2516 vernal pools in the City of San Diego

The MSCP must provide information on the funding that will be made available to implement the plan as proposed. A financing plan has been prepared to illustrate one option available to the local jurisdictions. The jurisdictions will select one or more funding sources and develop a final financing plan to be submitted to the voters for approval. The PDF icon example financing plan for local jurisdictions is based on a 30-year program of benefit assessments similar to that authorized by AB2007. The analysis of the regional financing plan assumes that the first 33 years of MSCP implementation is divided into three periods: an initial 3-year period of interim funding; a 20-year period of land acquisition and debt financing under the regional funding program, and; a final phase in which outstanding bonds are repaid and an endowment is completed. The plan assumes that acquisition will be accelerated so that 50% of the target is acquired within 4 years after the start of regional funding, 75% within 10 years, and 90% within 15 years. Under the example plan, the local share of the 30-year program is estimated to be $339 million and $411 million, for the low and high estimates of acquisition cost. The recurring costs of preserve management, monitoring and program administration between 1997 and 2029 are approximately $120 million. The analysis assumes that annual recurring costs after 2029 will be funded from a permanent endowment. Interest and financing costs total $29 million to $48 million (using the low and high acquisition cost estimates).

Financial Impacts on Households and Businesses

The example financing plan would result in average annual assessments, over 30 years, of $20 to $25 per household and $71 to $88 per acre of commercial and industrial property, with the range reflecting the low and high estimates of acquisition costs. In the example financing plan, benefit assessments are assumed to remain constant during the 30-year program. The other funding options in the form of assessments or taxes are assumed to escalate over time. The fiscal impact of a regional funding program on households and businesses can vary substantially, depending on the funding sources selected (see Section 7.2.3).

PDF icon Estimated Cost of Habitat Acquisition

More information about the MSCP Plan Summary