Measure A

Measure A protects the parks, open spaces, and agricultural lands that make Marin an extraordinary place to live, work, and play.

Measure A's quarter-cent sales tax supports parks, open space, and agricultural lands across Marin. Measure A funds can't be used for any other purpose.

In 2012, voters approved a one-quarter of one percent sales tax (County Ordinance 3586) to support parks, open space, and agricultural lands across Marin. In accordance with this law, for the past nine years funds raised by Parks Measure A have been spent on parks and open space, farmland preservation, recreation in Marin's nineteen cities and towns, and land acquisition.

The statewide ballot in June will include the renewal of the Measure A quarter-cent sales tax in Marin County over a nine-year period to support parks and open space. The Marin County Board of Supervisors unanimously approved the tax measure’s reimplementation during its February 15, 2022 meeting, with some changes from the 2012 measure that is expiring March 31.

Since 2013, Measure A funds have supported infrastructure repairs, vegetation management, conservation, and public programs. Measure A has funded the development of park master plans, the Inclusive Access plan, and other initiatives that keep parks and open spaces enjoyable, safe, and sustainable.

Measure A FAQ

What is Parks Measure A?

In 2012, 74% of Marin voters approved a one-quarter of one percent sales tax to support parks, open space, and agricultural lands. In accordance with this law, funds raised by Parks Measure A are spent on parks and open space, agricultural stewardship, recreation in Marin’s 19 cities and towns, and land acquisition. 2012 Measure A had a 9-year term, which sunsets on March 31, 2022.

On June 7, 2022, Measure A will again be on the local ballot. If voters approve it in June, Measure A will be re-implemented for the next 9 years.

How much land does Marin County Parks currently manage?

Marin County Parks currently manages 17,900 acres in 34 Open Space District preserves. In addition, the department operates 4 regional parks and 39 additional neighborhood parks, facilities, and pathways.

What type of work is supported by Measure A?

Measure A substantially funds:

  • Park maintenance and improvements
  • Open space and parks vegetation management and fire fuel reduction
  • Open space road and trail management
  • Public programs and events in parks and open space
  • Wetlands management, including sea-level rise adaptation
  • Science and research for natural resources and biodiversity protection
  • Grants to Marin cities, towns, and special districts to support local parks and recreation
  • Equity-focused initiatives such as community grants, entry fee reductions, and library park pass
  • Marin Resource Conservation District (RCD) implementation of conservation projects on working lands
  • Permanent preservation of local farms and ranches for agricultural production

What did the first nine years of Measure A accomplish?

Since 2012, Measure A has allowed Parks to address long-deferred maintenance, make significant parks and open space improvements that enhance recreation while preserving natural resources, increase the number of rangers and field staff, and better address challenges associated with climate change, including wildfire risk and sea-level rise. Information about the wide range of projects funded by Measure A is available on the Projects & Plans section of this website. Highlights include:

  • Repaving the parking lot and entrance road at McNears Beach park for the first time since the 1970s
  • Evolving shorelines sea level rise adaption studies at Bothin Marsh preserve and the Mill Valley/Sausalito pathway
  • Over 775 entry and wayfinding signs installed in 34 open space preserves
  • The immensely popular new Ponti Ridge Trail, the largest such project in the department’s history
  • Long sought acquisitions of Sky Ranch in Ross Valley, Buck’s Landing in San Rafael, and Bowman Canyon Ranch in Novato
  • Terra Linda/Sleepy Hollow fire fuel reduction project, recurring since 2017
  • New amenities and recreational features at Stafford Lake Park including a playground, hammock village, and zip line

How do we know Measure A funds are spent on community priorities?

Before approving Measure A for the June 2022 ballot, the Marin County Board of Supervisors received substantial feedback on community priorities for the next 9 years. Marin County Parks engaged in community conversations for more than a year prior to bringing this before the Board, including a community survey, taking public comment at commission meetings, and inviting members of the public to meet one-on-one with the Parks Director.

To ensure annual budgets align with community priorities, Parks will continue the same open community engagement approach over the next nine years. Residents will be able to participate in one-on discussions with staff or attend project workshops and large public forums at the Parks & Open Space Commission and the Board of Supervisors.

How many Parks and Open Space staff positions are funded by Measure A?

In 2021, 27 Full time Parks positions and 54 part-time seasonal workers were funded by Measure A. Parks has a total of 145 employees annually.

Is there oversight for Parks Measure A expenditures?

Yes, the Measure A Community Oversight Committee has seven members, monitors Measure A expenditures, assists with audits, and approves each year’s annual report. The Committee holds two public meetings each year. Measure A expenditures also undergo two compliance audits annually. Measure A annual reports and audit information is available on marincountyparks.org.

Parks management also reports regularly at public meetings of the Parks and Open Space Commission and the Marin Open Space District Board (whose members are the same as the Marin County Board of Supervisors.)

How is Measure A funded?

Parks Measure A is funded by a one-quarter of one percent local sales tax. If voters approve Measure A in June 2022, this sales tax, which has been in place for the past 9 years, will be re-implemented for the next 9 years.

How much revenue does Measure A generate?

It is estimated that the Measure A sales tax generates about $16 million each year.

2012 Measure A Finance Archive

Measure A revenue and expenditures undergo two annual compliance audits, overseen by the Measure A Citizens Oversight Committee, to ensure funds are managed in accordance with Marin County Ordinance No. 3586 PDF