Community rallies for tax hike to improve local parks

FRESNO, Calif. (KFSN) -- Locals are taking matters into their own hands to improve parks in the City of Fresno, exceeding the required 35,000 signatures to get a measure placed on the ballot aimed at renovating current parks and creating new ones.

"That means this is really a citizen-led measure not a political led one and that's what makes this so unique so important and were so excited about it," said Fresno for Parks Spokesperson Natasha Biasell.

Early Friday afternoon hundreds of people were expected at Radio Park for a celebration honoring their dedication to cleaning up city parks spearheaded by the group Fresno for parks.

The measure will mean updating and maintaining current parks by improving restrooms, playgrounds and adding park rangers for building new parks along with walking and biking trails

Congressman Jim Costa was also in attendance and says he believes cities throughout the country with strong parks lead to a better quality of life.

"Places, where people can gather, are those cities that have much higher standards of living are healthier in which the communities will be more united," said Costa.

All of the outdoor improvements will come with a cost. A sales tax increase which Fresno for Parks spokesperson says will be three-eighths of a penny--adding up to about $3.25 per month for a family.

That tax hike will help raise over $30 million annually over a 30 year period--public funding that thousands of supporters believe will better communities in Fresno.

The Fresno for Parks group hopes to make it on the ballot this November.
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